The meeting between the three Sinn Féin Joint Policing Committee chairs, Cllr Jim Loughran, Cllr Pearse McGeough and Cllr Kenneth Flood was due to take place with Louth council officials and a senior member of An Garda Siochana.
Speaking today, Cllr Kenneth Flood said “we were due to discuss important community safety issues and organise a work plan for the year. It is ironic that one of the community safety issues in Louth is the Garda cutbacks and lack of resources.”
This cancellation comes just 7 weeks after another meeting was cancelled citing the lack of availability of an Garda Siochána. A public meeting was scheduled for 1st December and again, was cancelled at short notice.
Cllr Flood at the time hailed the meeting as “a vital link between the public, the Gardaí and public servants.”
This latest cancellation comes after it was announced that of the 295 newly qualified Gardaí in 2015, just 10 of them will be allocated to County Louth.
Cllr Flood said “while we welcome 10 new Gardaí to County Louth, we have to remember that under this FG/Lab government we are actually down 35 Gardaí. Since 2010 the number of Gardaí stationed in Louth has declined from 314 to just 279.”
This week Sinn Féin launched its Citizen’s Charter for Older People which Kenneth Flood described as setting out “a series of commitments to reverse some of the harshest cuts and restore some dignity and a decent standard of living to our older people. There has been an increase in assaults, burglaries, sexual offences, theft and fraud in 2015 compared to the previous year”.
Cllr Flood concluded “Older people living especially in rural areas have become more isolated as a result of cuts to the telephone allowance, rural transport and home care and many live in fear in their own homes. We need this meeting to take place sooner rather than later and start trying to clean up the mess and chaos that this government have left us in.”