The decision by the Justice Minister Alan Shatter not to reopen garda recruitment this year will further deepen the crisis in the garda force, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins.
“Alan Shatter has now broken yet another promise to gardaí. This is a shameless u-turn by a Minister who is totally out of touch with the realities of frontline policing,” Deputy Collins said.
“It is less than a month since Minister Shatter stood in front of gardaí at the AGSI conference and promised to re-open garda recruitment this year. He pledged to keep garda numbers above 13,000. He has now taken the first possible opportunity to casually break this promise using his own Government’s failures on Croke Park 2 as an excuse, raising questions about just how serious he was about it in first place.
“This latest move by Minister Shatter confirms his total disregard for the serious problems facing An Garda Síochána. We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis in the force and the Minister refuses to recognise it. Gardaí are stretched beyond their limit. There are gaping holes in community policing and specialised units. Garda numbers are falling to dangerously low levels, and will soon drop well below the accepted safe number of 13,000.
“This will only widen the gulf between Minister Shatter and members of the force. Not only has the Minister moved to deepen the crisis in the force, he risks losing any remaining credibility with members of the gardaí,” said Deputy Collins.