The loss of 10 new gardaí for Cork has been described as “disturbing” given the city is piloting a new approach to policing.
The Echo revealed yesterday that 10 new gardaí destined for Cork are instead being redirected to help gardaí tackle gangland crime in Dublin and Drogheda.
The 10 were due to arrive in Cork stations in the coming weeks after passing out of the Garda College in Templemore.
Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, a former lord mayor and former chair of Cork city’s joint policing committee said it was “disturbing” that Cork will not receive the 10 personnel.
“I am very concerned that the Government has not followed through on commitments to Cork, given that the new policing model is currently being piloted here. It is disappointing the gardaí have not been given the resources that they need.”
The new gardaí had been destined to fill positions in Cork city division left vacant by successful applicants for roles in community policing.
Now, plans to boost community policing numbers from two sergeants and 20 gardaí by two more sergeants and 18 extra gardaí will have to put on hold until the division gets a replacement allocation.
Garda management in Cork are hoping for an allocation from the next recruit class, due to pass out around the end of the year.
Sinn Féin’s Justice spokesman, Donnchadh O Laoghaire, said he will be raising the issue with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.
He said: “These positions would not even come close to meeting the policing needs that exist in Cork, but to see that this is being redirected is just shocking. Most garda stations in Cork are below or just at the level they were at in 2014, despite increasing population but also increase in crime, particularly theft and theft of cars.”
“Rapidly growing areas such as Carrigaline and Douglas and Ballincollig have not even remotely the numbers they need, the city division needs much more than it is getting and I will be demanding answers from the minister and the commissioner.” Describing it is as a cynical exercise, Labour’s Justice spokesman, Sean Sherlock, said: “Cork needs all the resources it can get right now.”
The concerns about the resources follow concerns in recent weeks, also revealed in The Echo, about a vacancy for one detective inspector, as well as a number of detective sergeants and detective gardaí.