A CORK TD has urged the Minister for Justice to look at Garda resources in urban areas experiencing rapid growth amid concerns about Carrigaline Garda station.
Speaking in the Dáil on the Garda Siochana (Functions and Operational Areas) Bill 2021, Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire stated that areas experiencing rapid growth are “very often profoundly under-resourced” in Garda numbers.
He flagged concerns over Carrigaline garda station.
“Within living memory, there were fewer than 1,000 people in Carrigaline and now there are almost 20,000 people, which is up by some 8,000 people in the past six or seven years,” he said.
“This presents a number of issues.”
The Cork South-Central TD stated that the station does not have a computer-aided dispatch, CAD, system.
“It is absurd for a town of that size to not have a Garda station that is properly equipped.”
He urged the Minister to consider the need to monitor areas that are growing rapidly, “where garda numbers are not keeping pace with that, and where the number of incidents in those locations are not keeping pace with that”.
Speaking to The Echo, he said there are resource issues at the station.
“Myself and others have been pushing this for four or five years. Whatever about a few years ago, the town keeps on growing and there’s a big young population in the town and it’s going to keep growing.
“The garda resources available to a town that size.... needs to be proportionate to the size of the town and the outlying area.”
He said the station should be effectively open 24 hours.
“Probably the more important thing in the shorter term is ensuring that they have the vehicles that are necessary and that there are two cars out at night.
“That would make a huge difference because it means that all the gardaí aren’t tied up with something if something emerges at night or if something emerges in one of the outlying areas.”
He added that there is “frustration” in the area over the matter.
While An Garda Síochána do not comment on operational matters, a spokesperson recently told The Echo that a number of proactive policing patrols have been put in place to combat anti-social behaviour in the Carrigaline and Crosshaven areas with additional members deployed to the areas at weekends.