Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Labour Party, Independents 4 Change and People Before Profit to explain why not a single member from either the Party or Groups contributed to a two hour Dáil debate on Rural Crime. Deputy McGrath was speaking after a Fianna Fail Private Members Motion called for greater recognition of the fear that exists in local communities posed by the threat of crime to people and their property:
“The fact that the Labour Party and others did not think it fit to send even one member to debate what is an extremely important issue demonstrates real contempt for the people living in rural Ireland.
The Motion dealt with very serious issues like the failure of the Government to respond to the need for extra and more visible Gardaí on the ground in local communities.
It also called on the government to recognise the increased ability of criminal gangs to access rural areas because of the improved motorway network and the absence of any Garda stations in large areas of rural communities.
These are topics that are above party politics.
Despite that, Labour, the Independents 4 Change and People Before Profit just ignored the entire two hour debate despite being present in Leinster House at the time.
If we are to tackle the scourge of rural crime and to implement genuinely effective measures aimed at preventing it, then surely we all need to come together and propose workable and immediate solutions.
Clearly the Labour Party and others do not think this is the case and that is something the people of rural Ireland should remember the next time they hear them huff and puff about commitments to tackle rural crime,” concluded Deputy McGrath.