In the Seanad this week I highlighted the importance of keeping our rural Garda stations open in Kerry and throughout Ireland. This is an issue of great concern for many people and one I will continue to work on.
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Senator Daly highlights the importance of keeping our rural Garda stations open in Kerry and throughout Ireland
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.”
9 stations in Co Kerry to close & 1 district HQ downgraded
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has condemned the fresh attack on garda stations in Kerry, and has questioned why this region is being forced to bear the brunt of the cuts.
The Justice Minister Alan Shatter has announced plans to close 100 garda stations in the first half of next year, including 9 in Kerry alone. These are Ballinskelligs, Valentia Island, Beaufort, Kilgarvan, Lauragh, Brosna, Abbeydorney, Camp and Fenit. In addition to this Caherciveen District Garda Headquarters will be downgraded and stripped of its district HQ status.
Senator Daly has described it as an ‘appalling attack’ on communities across the county.
“Kerry has fared the worst in Minister Shatter’s hit list. Within the next 6 months, Kerry will have 9 less garda stations and many of our communities will have lost their local station. Alan Shatter had warned that he was planning a second attack on garda stations, but even for him this is a shocking level of cuts to our local garda stations,” said Senator Daly.
“The Minister sneakily announced this slash and burn on Budget day, hoping it seems that people wouldn’t pay too much attention. He is sorely mistaken. Removing the garda presence from our communities on such a large scale at a time when the rate of burglaries has increased makes absolutely no sense. The presence of a local garda station, however small, acts as a deterrent to criminals who target vulnerable households.
“In this announcement, Minister Shatter is stripping 6 Kerry communities of yet another essential local service, and his casual attempts to soften the blow by offering social media gimmicks instead will not work. Suggesting to people who feel vulnerable in their homes that they could ‘tweet the gardaí’ or ‘find them on Facebook’ is nothing short of insulting.
“Minister Shatter has targeted Kerry in particular for these savage cuts.People in towns and villages right across Kerry who were worried about crime cannot believe that instead of showing leadership, Fine Gael and Labour have sanctioned such a significant slash and burn of our local garda resources.
“I intend to strongly oppose these closures and I am urging the Government Deputies across Kerry to stand up for their local communities and do the same,” said Senator Daly.