Kerry Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has appealed to Fine Gael and Labour to reverse their ‘dangerous decision’ to shut down 9 garda stations in Kerry this week.
Senator Daly was speaking ahead of a Dáil debate on a Fianna Fáil motion calling on the Justice Minister not to shut down 100 garda stations nationwide tomorrow. The motion also opposes the underhanded reduction in garda numbers and cuts to specialised garda units.
“I have spoken to so many people here over the past number of weeks who just cannot understand how the Government’s response to the surge in burglaries, thefts and violent attacks here in Kerry is to close another 9 local garda stations and further cut our garda numbers,” said Senator Daly.
“The Justice Minister Alan Shatter needs to open his eyes and see what is going on here. People are fearful in their homes. They need a strong and visible garda presence in their communities to deter criminals and support vulnerable householders – not another slash and burn of community resources. Even Fine Gael representatives have themselves been forced to admit that this crazy policy will not result in significant savings.
“The unjust cut to garda numbers must stop. It creates dangerous gaps in our community policing and puts enormous pressure on local gardaí. If the Government allows garda numbers to dwindle below 13,000, our force will be watered down to its lowest level in over a decade.
“Let’s be clear about it. These cuts are Minister Shatter’s own political decisions and are not as a result of an agreement with the Troika or anyone else. No one is forcing him to shut down 100 garda stations. No one is forcing him to make such significant cuts to garda numbers. I am also surprised Labour has remained so passive about the cuts, they and their Fine Gael colleagues need to step up and put pressure on the Minister to reverse this wrong decision. The Government needs to admit they have made a mistake and support Fianna Fáil’s motion this week.”