Answers needed on Garda numbers in Cork
Labour City Councillor John Maher has demanded the Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice to account for news reports today that just two Gardaí were able to patrol the city last March on a Saturday night and clarify when additional resources will be made available to Cork, and if the city is impacted by cuts in the numbers training in Templemore.
Number of Gardaí trained in 2019 reduced by 200 to 600, and for 2020 by 100 to only 700 – from Government targets of 800 per year.
Cllr Maher said:
“The report in today’s Irish Examiner that just two gardaí are available to police Cork city is shocking, and will be music to the ears of criminals seeking to exploit the stretched nature of An Garda Síochána. It raises serious questions about why Cork city is so short staffed with a deficit of 125 frontline gardaí?
“We need an urgent explanation from the Minister and the Garda Commissioner. Not words or hand wringing but cold hard results and boots on the streets of Cork. The people of Cork need their faith and trust restored following this devastating report. They now need reassurance that they are safe on the streets of Cork and that our Gardaí will be fully resourced.
“The party of law and order in Fine Gael is responsible for this collapse in Garda frontline numbers and they need to explain why our city has been left without adequate policing.
“If there is a such a huge shortage of Gardaí in Cork, why was the intake to Templemore Garda training college this year reduced from the Government target of 800 to just 600, and why in the Budget did they reduce it again to just 700 for 2020.
“If the full Garda numbers were being trained as Fine Gael had promised, we’d have an extra 300 Gardaí available but instead we know Cork is seriously short staffed.
“We need to see these questions answered and we need to know what will it take for Cork to get what it needs? Will we have to wait until there is a major incident? Just this week we’ve seen extra Gardaí pledged to the Border area and North East but it shouldn’t take shocking criminal actions to get resources allocated.”