July 28, 2023
Extra resources for Garda overtime welcome but sticking-plaster approach to policing will not cut it – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal, Louise O’Reilly, has said that while the announcement by Minister McEntee of €10m extra funding for Garda overtime in Dublin is welcome, it represents a sticking-plaster approach that will not address the substantive issues of policing recruitment, retention and morale.

Deputy O’Reilly added that after 12 years of Fine Gael being in charge of the Department of Justice, it should not have taken the embarrassment, shock and public outcry following the recent horrific attack on a tourist to cause Minister McEntee to take action.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Any measures that increase the visible presence of Gardaí on the streets of our capital are to be welcomed.

“But extra funding for overtime will only go so far – there are stations in the city so understaffed that they struggle to fill existing overtime hours.

“It is a sticking-plaster solution that will provide relief in some areas, but will not address the substantive issues of policing recruitment, retention and morale.

“This Minister’s move comes on the back of sustained press coverage and public outcry following the recent horrific attack on a tourist in Dublin city centre.

“After 12 years of Fine Gael being in charge of the Department of Justice, it should not have taken that embarrassment to cause Minister McEntee to grant additional resources to An Garda Síochána.

“It has been there for all to see that parts of our city have rapidly become dangerous, derelict and run down.

“Dubliners, those who call this city home, and Gardaí, all deserve to be safe on our streets and in our homes but are being failed by Fine Gael.

“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly TD, this week launched proposals to tackle crime in Dublin.

“We are calling on the Minister to increase intake capacity for Garda training in Templemore with the introduction of a new hybrid training model that would increase the numbers who can complete training and attest as sworn members, ending the scandal of under-recruitment.

“She must substantively engage with Gardaí and their representatives to identify and remedy the cause of increased resignations from An Garda Síochána.

“We need a meaningful and ambitious Garda recruitment campaign, and updated recruitment criteria to make the police more reflective of modern Irish society, including groups that are currently under-represented.

“We must also establish public transport policing on specific DART, LUAS, Irish Rail, and Dublin Bus services to ensure that passengers are protected and can feel safe.

“A sticking-plaster approach to policing our capital city will not cut it – we need real reform to keep our communities safe.”

Sinn Féin’s ‘Keeping Communities Safe’ document can be read here.

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