The Chairman of Ballyshannon Town Council hit out at Justice Minister, Alan Shatter TD over the closure of rural garda stations across the county at this month’s meeting of Ballyshannon Town Council.
Cllr. Phonsie Travers said the closure of garda stations in rural parts of the country is causing grave concern to the number of elderly, vulnerable people who are living on their own.
He said, “As a member of Fine Gael I am bitterly disappointed with Alan Shatter’s decision to close some of our rural garda stations and threatening to close others.
“As we have seen in media reports, this Government sees fit to pay out over €750,000 in expenses to members of the Oireachtas in the month of August when there was little or no activity in Dail Eireann. One TD from Cork saw fit to claim in excess of €5,000 without even travelling to Dublin..
“I have been informed that the cost of keeping one small rural garda station open is less than €10,000 per annum when you factor in the overhead. I think this puts things in perspective.
“We are seeing a massive rise in crime in rural areas - we have drug dealers and scumbags roaming our streets without fear. This is not the fault of the gardaí: they simply do not have the resources.
“Just this week we have witnessed an atrocious crime in nearby Sligo where the unfortunate victim was left to die for days tied to a chair. I know what I would do with the perpetrator.”
Cllr. Travers called on the council to write to Justice Minister Alan Shatter calling on him to re-open garda stations and to lift the garda recruitment embargo with immediate effect.