April 15, 2024
Fine Gael’s Justice “reset” means more of the same – Pa Daly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly TD, has said that Fine Gael’s so-called ‘reset’ in Justice will mean more of the same.

Deputy Daly was commenting after both the Gambling and Alcohol Bills were removed from the legislative agenda over the past fortnight, and a new direction flagged for the portfolio by Fine Gael.

He added that Fine Gael has no credibility when it comes to protecting communities and ensuring public safety.

Teachta Daly said:

“In a clumsy attempt to direct policy towards what it perceives as a traditional hardline approach, Fine Gael is trying to rescue their own political future with a ‘Law and Order’ approach.

“Any examination of their record, both historical and current, makes it clear they have no credibility when it comes to protecting communities and ensuring public safety.

“A number of examples stand out specifically, the first is the proposal for a ‘taskforce’ for Dublin City centre. Sinn Féin has held meetings with businesses, workers and others who are daily users of the city. The consensus is clear, visible policing is needed urgently.

“Fine Gael have announced overtime budgets and other measures to try to combat crime.

“But they have not solved the fundamental issue of their own creation, the shortage of active Gardai, the struggles in recruitment and the crisis in retention.

“Government has been too slow to address the recruitment to the Garda Reserve, which could help redeploy Gardaí to frontline duties.

“There is no imagination within the government’s plans to tackle crime. More prison sentences and jail are only part of the answer. The cuts to youth services and centralisation of drugs supports are key, especially in urban areas.

“Also, many charities have contacted us ahead of the scheduled report stage of the Gambling Bill. They are very concerned about the implications of the bill for their work in fundraising, and have requested that opposition TDs raise these concerns and move amendments.

“There are some difficult issues but the solution is a strong and empowered regulator who can analyse and address the issues. The government has pulled this bill, rather than tackling the important issues involved, just as they have done with the proposed licensing law changes.

“Within the Fine Gael-controlled Justice ministry, priority is given to securing their own political future, with the important business of delivering for ordinary people, victims of crime, voluntary organisations and those in recovery all set to one side.

“Only a fresh government, with a fresh approach, can change course.”

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