Press Statement 11th Dec 2019
Garda Commissioner Harris’s attendance at Limerick’s JPC must address Garda numbers here
– Appearance comes on foot of invite from Senator O’ Donnell at Oireachtas Justice committee meeting in June
- Limerick must get its fair share of additional 700 Gardai announced by Government in Budget
- Why has Limerick Community Garda numbers reduced by a shocking 60, a drop of 2/3rds (65%) over the last 10 years, from 92 to 32 ?
- Garda re-deployment from Mulgrave St Courthouse to frontline duties
- Strong Case for New Garda Stations in high growth areas like Castletroy/Annacotty & Dooradoyle/Raheen/Mungret Areas
Limerick Senator Kieran O’Donnell looks forward to welcoming Garda Commissioner Drew Harris tomorrow, Thursday 12th December when he appears before a meeting of Joint Policing committee at 2pm in City Hall to discuss Policing priorities here in Limerick.
This comes on foot of an invite extended by Senator O’Donnell to Garda Commissioner Harris at the Oireachtas Justice committee hearing in June. Senator O’Donnell followed this up by formally writing to the Joint Policing committee to extend this invite.
“I think it is very significant that Garda Commissioner Harris is visiting Limerick City on tomorrow, Thursday 12th December to see first-hand and to discuss a range of Policing matters in Limerick with the Joint Policing committee. We continue to have various anti-social and more serious crimes here, which clearly indicate the need for extra Gardai on the ground is overwhelming.
Demand for Garda Numbers Increases
“Therefore, it is imperative that we here in Limerick get our fair share of the welcome 700 additional trainee Gardai, announced by Government in the Budget. Allocation of these Gardai is an operational matter under the remit and control of the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. It needs to be impressed upon him our clear need for extra Community Gardai on the beat here in Limerick City centre, surburbs and throughout the County.
“Latest Garda numbers indicate that since 2008, Community Garda numbers in Limerick overall have reduced by a shocking 60, from 92 to 32, which is a drop of 2/3rds (65%). This is by far the largest numbers and percentage reduction for any Garda division nationally, with many division actually seeing increases. We need to be given an explanation as to why this has happened. Furthermore, we now need to see a significant increase in Community Garda on the ground here in Limerick.
Garda redeployment & New Garda Stations
“The issue of redeployment of up to 16 Gardai from Courthouse duties at Mulgrave Street to frontline duties in the City & environs, as well as the genuine need for new Garda Stations in high growth population areas like Castletroy/Annacotty and Dooradoyle/Raheen & Mungret are proposals I put forward to the Garda Commissioner when I questioned him at the Justice committee in June. This must also be addressed at tomorrow’s JPC meeting.
“Garda Commissioner Harris is receptive to both of these proposals as he indicated to me at the Justice Committee hearing in June where in response stated that he “wholeheartedly agreed” regarding re-deployment of Gardai from non-core duties and that “Gardai are too precious a resource to be doing a function that can be successfully undertaken by private providers of a security function. It is not to say we abandon the courts, if there is a particular threat, we would obviously be there as well, that is very clear”.
“On the need for new Garda stations in high growth populations areas like Castletroy/Annacotty & Dooradoyle/Raheen/Mungret, he responded to me by stating “undoubtedly with population growth, and what is anticipated over the next 5-10 years in terms of growth in housing, growth of commerce, there will be a case for additional stations, there is no doubt about that”.
“I look forward to welcoming Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to Limerick City tomorrow where he can witness first-hand our need for extra policing resources and in particular more Gardai on the beat.