Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin TD and party finance spokesperson, is seeking an explanation from the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner over the ongoing unavailability of a dedicated Garda patrol car based at Bunbeg Garda Station.
Deputy Doherty’s comments follow mounting criticism and concerns from the local community owing to reports that the station has been without a dedicated patrol car since early January, when it’s believed that the station’s previous patrol car was retired following a road traffic collision.
Deputy Doherty said he has written to the minister and the Garda commissioner seeking an urgent explanation for the apparent lack of progress in allocating a replacement car to Bunbeg. He said he also wrote to the Chief Superintendent in Donegal to ask for a timeframe for assignment of the replacement Garda car.
“Obviously, should it be the case that the station has been without a dedicated Garda car since the start of the year, then this raises very serious questions of both the Garda authorities and the government over their failure to ensure that the station is equipped with what ought to be considered the very basic resources which gardaí need in order to protect and safeguard the local community here in Bunbeg,” Deputy Doherty said.
The Gaoth Dobhair-based deputy said he has tabled a parliamentary question to Minister Charlie Flanagan, asking that he provide all the dates on which no Garda patrol car was available at Bunbeg Garda station, and when he expects a replacement car to be deployed.
“Clearly, those responsible for ensuring that our communities are kept safe and that the gardaí are provided with the equipment they need to police effectively must be held to account, and I intend to do just that by getting answers to these questions on behalf of local residents,” Deputy Doherty said.