Number of gardaí in Donegal down by 21 per cent


More than 100 fewer gardaí last year compared to 2008

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

Number of gardaí in Donegal down by 21 per cent

There are more than 100 fewer gardaí in Donegal than there were eight years ago, figures show.
Figures released following a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty to Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald, show the number of gardaí in Donegal has dropped from 488 in 2008 to 384 in 2016, a decrease of 21 per cent.
Over the last ten years the figure in the Donegal Garda division rose from 448 in 2006 to peak at 488 in 2008. The 2016 figure is the lowest in that period.
Sinn Féin chair of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Gerry McMonagle, said the figures show the extent of cuts to Garda numbers in Donegal that have been presided over by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments.
“Not alone has the number of gardaí in Donegal been cut by over 20 per cent from their peak over eight years ago, but we’ve also witnessed the loss of an entire Garda operational district following the closure of the Glenties Garda district back in 2012,” he said.
“While these figures will likely come as no surprise to the many communities throughout Donegal who have experienced first-hand the scale of Garda station closures and dwindling garda numbers over the last number of years, the data does however reflect the wider decision making of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in government as well as the scant regard which both parties have for this county and the safety of its people.”
In a written reply to the question from Deputy Pearse Doherty, the minister said that following a moratorium on recruitment during the financial crisis the government reopened the Garda college in September 2014 and is committed to steadily increasing Garda numbers.
“Since the reopening of the Garda college, 679 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, including 13 to the Donegal division. I am informed by the Garda commissioner that another 900 trainee Garda are scheduled to attest in 2017 which will bring Garda numbers to around the 13,500 mark by year end,” she said.
“This focus on investment in personnel is critical. The moratorium on recruitment introduced in 2010 resulted in a significant reduction in the strength of An Garda Siochána. We are now rebuilding the organisation and providing the Commissioner with the resources she needs to allow her to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí across every Garda Division, including Donegal, in the coming years.”