A Donegal Senator has hit out at plans to slash garda numbers amid a “crime wave” in Donegal.
Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has slammed the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter for what he describes as a “slash and burn” of garda resources in Donegal.
According to the Senator, it “defies” logic to dramatically reduce garda numbers this year and shut down local garda stations while Donegal is experiencing a crime wave.
He was reacting to reports that garda management are seeking to cut garda numbers by over 1,400 this year following the Justice Minister’s decision to slash the garda payroll budget. This is in addition to Minister Shatter’s plan to shut down an additional 100 garda stations in the coming months, including 5 stations across County Donegal.
“People just cannot understand how Minister Shatter can justify this further attack on community garda resources as the rate of burglaries and thefts in Donegal and in rural communities across the West and North West continues to rise. The Government closed and downgraded dozens of small garda stations last year and this, coupled with a ban on garda overtime a ban on recruitment and a reduction in garda resources, happened as burglary rates surged in rural communities nationwide.
“Many homes in my own area were targeted by thieves over the Christmas period and we saw the shocking attack on 96 year old Margaret ‘Greta’ Lilly during a burglary at her home in Aghilly last weekend. But instead of taking action to address this crime wave, the Government’s answer is to dismantle our local garda force even further,” he added.