Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Martin Kenny TD, has today expressed his concern at the drop in Community Gardaí across Dublin. His comments come after an analysis by the party has revealed a reduction in Community Gardaí during a time when the closure and downgrading of Garda stations also was overseen by Fine Gael.
Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said:
“We are all aware that the closure of over 130 Garda stations all over the country in 2012 and 2013 by then Fine Gael ministers. At the time these closures were said to be required in order to free up Gardaí for frontline duties within their communities.
“I have no doubt that Gardaí trusted this statement and expected to be redeployed to these frontline duties.
“However, figures released to me show that in Dublin the number of community Gardaí fell by over 4% between 2016 and 2022. In fact, DMR north central – which covers the majority of the north inner city – saw a 48% drop in its community Gardaí. This occurred at a time when Garda numbers also took a nose dive.
“To be quite frank, this promise to free up Gardaí by closing stations was just more Fine Gael spin.
“The closure of stations, and reduction in frontline and community Gardaí in areas where they are needed and wanted has left communities feeling unsafe and unprotected. This is again more evidence of the fable that Fine Gael is the ‘party of law and order’.
“Fine Gael have held the Justice Ministry for more than a decade. During this time they have failed to deliver the staffing levels, resources and investment that the Gardaí need. Sinn Féin in government would stand up for communities and ensure that the Gardaí can do their jobs safely.”
Paul Donnelly Sinn Féin TD for Dublin West and spokesperson on Community Development said:
“Recently we have seen yet again the escalation in so called ‘gangland’ violence in Dublin. The lack of Garda on the ground is not acceptable and people are fearful in their own homes. Everyone should have a right to feel safe and protected, whether in Dublin or anywhere else in Ireland.
“Every day, Gardaí in Dublin and beyond do vital, courageous work to protect communities. The very least they deserve is to have the staffing levels and resources that they need to do this crucial work.
“Fine Gael need to get to grips with policing in Dublin. For far too long, they have failed to invest in the Gardaí. It’s time for change.”