10 February 2016

Today’s series of proposals on crime unveiled by Fianna Fail are yet another example of them trying to pretend that the past did not happen.

It was Fianna Fail who introduced a freeze on garda recruitment. It was Fianna Fail who closed Templemore Garda Training College. It was Fianna Fail who were in power when Garda numbers began to fall, reaching a peak of 15% by 2013.

Labour has picked up the pieces from that situation. An Garda Siochana is recruiting again, and we hope to reach peak levels of over 14,500 in the coming years. We have reopened Templemore. And we have established the new Policing Authority that will provide vital oversight and confidence in policing.

In addition we want to free up a further 1,000 GardaĆ­ for frontline duty by recruiting the same number of civilian staff to make sure our GardaĆ­ are spending their time on the streets of our communities combating crime.

We also plan to create a Garda Serious and Organised Crime Unit to tackle organised crime and we will bring greater consistency to the sentences handed out to criminals by enacting new sentencing legislation.

This package of measures will increase An Garda Siochana’s ability to tackle crime, increase confidence in policing, and provide vital training for aspirant Gardai so that they can continue their excellent work in protecting the public. That is a much more positive approach than Fianna Fail’s current attempts to capitalise on recent events to take partisan political potshots.


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