Fianna Fáil Justice and Equality Spokesperson, Jim O’Callaghan TD has welcomed delivery on FF’s demand for an extra 800 Gardaí in today’s budget. This follows the recruitment of a similar number in 2017.
In the Confidence and Supply Arrangement which was agreed in May 2016, Fianna Fáil secured a commitment to increase the number of Gardaí to 15,000 by 2021.
Deputy O’Callaghan commented, “The frontline members of An Garda Síochána stationed nationwide perform the most crucial duty in upholding the law and keeping citizens safe.
“The controversies that have beset the force over recent years should not undermine the fact that members of the force serve and protect their communities with high levels of professionalism and sensitivity.
“That is why boosting Garda numbers to 15,000 was a prominent part of the Fianna Fail manifesto, and a core element of negotiations to form a Confidence and Supply arrangement with Fine Gael.
“Increased capital investment to counter the severe reductions in Garda resources allocated to rural areas is at the very core of Fianna Fáil’s approach to revitalise effective policing in Ireland.
“While considerable change is required to transform An Garda Siochána, we need to equip the organisation for the task of modern policing.
“Putting in place the required resources to enable the force to achieve sufficient civilianisation in order to free up Gardaí to go on the beat is essential and that’s what our demand for additional Gardaí is ultimately all about.
“Countless communities nationwide, particularly in the more rural parts of the country, were left exposed to crime and became increasingly vulnerable in their own homes as a consequence of Fine Gael policy. I hope that the deficits in resources in policing around the country can begin to be addressed as a result of today’s announcement.
He concluded, “The recruitment of 1,600 Gardaí in two years is substantial progress towards achieving a force of 15,000. I am pleased that Fianna Fáil has been able to deliver on this commitment yet again this year.”