Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly, has described today’s vote of no confidence in the Garda Commissioner by the Garda Representative Association as a further indictment of the crisis in An Garda Síochána overseen by 12 years of Fine Gael in government.
Teachta Daly said:
“As a result of the failures of 12 years of Fine Gael in government, we now have a real crisis in the Gardaí.
“There are fewer Gardaí and fewer Garda stations than when Fine Gael took power 12 years ago; despite a significant increase in the population.
“As a result, people don’t feel safe in their homes, on the streets or in their communities.
“Under Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, there has been an unprecedented exodus from our public services – every day they stay in office, we are losing Gardaí, members of the Defence Forces, nurses and teachers.
“Gardaí are exasperated and feel that they are not being listened to and that their concerns are not being taken seriously.
“Today’s vote by the GRA is a culmination of those frustrations felt among members of An Garda Síochána; a direct result of Fine Gael holding the position of Minister for Justice for over a decade.
“Their lack of leadership is responsible for serious long-term issues that are making Garda recruitment and retention difficult, which has now led to morale among members being at an all-time low.
“Gardaí feel that their job has changed and are increasingly frustrated that they cannot go about their job of policing and keeping communities they serve safe without the resources they require to do so safely.
“Members are at breaking point, and we need to see the government respond with serious measures before the situation deteriorates further.
“In government, Sinn Féin would fix this crisis in crime and policing by by commencing the biggest Garda recruitment drive in the history of the state and ensuring we have the conditions to retain current Gardaí.
“We would appoint a retention taskforce to report back in a matter of weeks, move Gardaí away from non-core duties, publish the Garda Reserve regulations to allow recruitment to resume, and increase recruitment classes by reviewing the training allowance and recruitment restrictions.”