Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he is calling on the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, to outline his plans to substantially increase the number and availability of Gardaí in the Tipperary Division. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was confirmed to him in a parliamentary reply that Tipperary has seen the closure of 7 Garda Stations under the Garda District and Station Rationalisation Programme, while closures across the Dublin North, Dublin North Central, Dublin South, Dublin South Central, Dublin East and Dublin West Garda areas amounted to just 6:
“What these figures clearly show is that rural counties like Tipperary have borne a disproportionate part of the burden when it came to the closing down of garda stations.
The Minister has confirmed to me that the purpose of these closures was to allow front line Gardaí to be managed and deployed with greater mobility, greater flexibility and in a more focused fashion, particularly with regard to targeted police operations.
That has not happened. Instead we find ourselves in a situation where Tipperary where there has been an almost two thirds reduction in the number of Probationer Garda for Co. Tipperary from 2017-2018.
Indeed, I find it absolutely astonishing that from 2015 to 2018, Tipperary was allocated only 48 Probationer Garda from a total of 2146.
When you out these two things together then the situation does not bode well in terms of the sheer availability of garda numbers to police and protect our communities.
What is even more galling is that at the end of his reply to me on the Garda Station closures, the Minister said; “It should be noted that the number of Garda stations in Ireland compares favourably with similar jurisdictions including Scotland.”
This is cold comfort to those farms and families who still feel under siege in their own villages and homes,” concluded Deputy McGrath.
For Written Answer on : 23/07/2019
Question Number(s): 910 Question Reference(s): 33413/19
Department: Justice and Equality
Asked by: Mattie McGrath T.D.
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda stations that have been closed in each Garda division since 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
There has been an unprecedented level of investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. The allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion and significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána including €342 million being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 and €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet.
The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, including responsibility for the formulation of proposals in relation to the opening and closing of Garda stations. As Minister, I have no direct role in such matters. Indeed the Deputy may recall that as recently as December 2018, the Garda Síochána Inspectorate in its report “Policing with Local Communities” confirmed that it is appropriate that the Commissioner should continue to hold this responsibility.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda District and Station Rationalisation Programme, developed and implemented in 2012 and 2013, resulted in the closure of 139 Garda stations nationwide. I am further informed by the Garda authorities that the closures implemented nationally under this programme allowed front line Gardaí to be managed and deployed with greater mobility, greater flexibility and in a more focused fashion, particularly with regard to targeted police operations.
It should be noted that the number of Garda stations in Ireland compares favourably with similar jurisdictions including Scotland.
The table below sets out the locations of the Garda stations that were closed in that programme.
|Division||Number of Stations Closed|
|DMR North Central||0|
|DMR South Central||1|