CORK’S Lord Mayor has pledged to lobby the Government to ensure that the city gets a “substantial number” of the 800 new gardaí announced in yesterday’s budget.
In his budget speech yesterday, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath announced an additional €145 million for the Justice sector, an increase of 5.3% on the allocation for 2021.
“Next year, An Garda Síochána will celebrate 100 years since its foundation, a century of service to our country and our people,” he said. “In An Garda Síochána’s centenary year, I am making provision for the recruitment of 800 gardaí and 400 garda civilian staff in 2022, a further commitment by this Government in prioritising visible policing in both rural and urban communities.”
Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher is also the chairman of the Cork City joint policing committee.
He said the allocation of 800 new gardaí is “very, very welcome”.
“I would hope that Garda HQ will see fit to see a good allocation for Cork city and county,” he said. “I will be lobbying that a substantial amount of them are allocated to Cork.” He said the reopening of society is leading to an increase in crime once more.
In his speech, Mr McGrath announced an allocation of €6.7m for the Youth Justice strategy, which he said will seek to develop and deliver programmes and early interventions for children and young people.
He said: “Regrettably, the year to date has brought with it a rise in anti-social behaviour in some of our communities.”
Fianna Fáil city councillor Tony Fitzgerald said the funding for the youth justice sector is a “great commitment to young people”.
He said Cork has models of best practice of youth justice projects and that there has been great work between them and juvenile liaison officers and communities. He welcomed funding announced for the community centre and community buildings, as such facilities are required to deliver youth projects.