Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has accused the Justice Minister Alan Shatter of deliberately misleading the Dáil about the state of the garda budget.

Deputy Collins said the fact that a supplementary budget is needed for the gardaí at this late stage of the year is due to the Minister’s mismanagement and his refusal to listen to warnings from several sources.

“The Minister has spent the last year arrogantly dismissing valid concerns about the crisis in the garda budget,” said Deputy Collins.

“I have raised the issue on several occasions in the Dáil, and each time the Minister dismissed my questions and misled the Dáil about the gravity of the situation. More worryingly, he also refused to heed the warnings from gardaí management about the dangers of his cuts to the garda payroll and the impact of this on the fight against crime.

“Now with just six weeks to go before the end of the year, the Minister cannot continue to ignore the growing crisis in the garda payroll. After misleading the Dáil for months and ignoring clear evidence, he has been forced to admit at the eleventh hour hat he does not have the money to pay working gardaí to the end of the year.

“The last minute scramble for funding for the gardaí was totally unnecessary. This was not difficult to predict – all Minister Shatter had to do was listen. If the Minister had put arrogance and stubbornness aside earlier on in the year, looked at the clear evidence coming from all quarters and agreed to work with those who were trying to help, we could have avoided a situation where the work of the gardaí is compromised as funding runs out.

“We need to know now where this additional funding will come from and what other areas of Minister Shatter’s department will be cut as a result. We also need a commitment from the Minister that the necessary budget will be provided to pay the gardaí next year and to ensure that numbers in the force will be over 13,000.”