Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has commented on the plan announced by the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to amalgamate Louth and Cavan Monaghan Garda Divisions.
Teachta Adams said;
“This amalgamation is just one concerning component of the radical reform strategy announced by Commissioner Harris recently.
“Along with the geographical changes, reports indicate that staffing levels could also be affected, with each merged division having only one Chief Superintendent.
“There are currently seven Superintendents across Louth and Cavan-Monaghan. These new proposals indicate only three Superintendents per division and one civilian manager.
“These proposals will reduce the provision of Gardaí in my constituency of Louth and this is unacceptable.
“This constituency faces significant challenges in terms of community safety, drug criminality and intimidation, with the ongoing, violent feud in Drogheda requiring huge efforts from an already stretched An Garda Síochána.
“In addition, Louth is a border constituency and the implications of Brexit will have far reaching effects, not least for An Garda Síochána.
“Rural crime is an ongoing concern for people living across Louth and in these rural communities Garda provision has already been reduced and stations closed.
“I have continually lobbied for additional garda resources for Louth. Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú and I have also met locally with senior Gardaí and in all of our conversations they have identified a lack of resources, especially of Garda personnel, on the ground as a matter of serious concern.
“Gardaí in Louth need additional personnel, vehicles, premises and equipment.
“I have written to the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice on this issue.
“I have requested a full explanation of the proposed revision of Garda structures and resources as they impact on Louth.
“I have also queried what, if any, consultation process was held internally to discuss these far reaching changes.”
Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said,
“We cannot permit a scenario in which Louth Garda services are coordinated from afar.
“An ‘arm’s length’ approach will not work for local policing. I work with victims of intimidation and crime every day in Dundalk, people in these communities need a comprehensive police service available to them.
“The Brexit crisis, created by the Conservative Party and the DUP mean that it is an absolute necessity for the Border area to retain its full complement of Garda resources.”