Claims policing resources in Douglas are impacted by round-the-clock garda presence at Taoiseach's home

Claims policing resources in Douglas are impacted by round-the-clock garda presence at Taoiseach's home

Latest figures show that on October 31, there were 28 garda personnel attached to the Douglas garda station area – 25 gardaí and three sergeants. Picture Denis Minihane.

THE provision of a constant garda presence at the home of Taoiseach Micheál Martin is impacting on policing resources for the Douglas area.

That is according to Cork city representative of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), Ian Lester.

He made the claims as the annual GRA conference takes place in Killarney.

Latest figures show that on October 31, there were 28 garda personnel attached to the Douglas garda station area – 25 gardaí and three sergeants.

However, not all are uniformed officers and the number is also divided between four shifts.

Garda Lester said that there are two or three gardaí on a regular shift who are available to do frontline policing, adding that this can be impacted by the requirement to provide round-the-clock cover of one garda at the home of the Taoiseach.

He stressed that gardaí are not against providing cover at Mr Martin’s home but believes that the resources of Douglas station should not be drained as a result. He says the area straddles the territory policed by Anglesea Street station which he says has far more resources available.

Security review needed

Last month, the Taoiseach told reporters in Brussels following the killing of British MP David Amess that there should be a garda review of the security for Irish politicians.

Recently, there have been protests at the home of the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar.

Gardaí attending the GRA conference today accepted a motion to call on the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, to “address the serious manpower issues in districts across the country” and to have an independent optimum numbers survey carried out.

The GRA local branch in Cork has raised the issue with garda management.

Garda statement

A response issued by the Garda Press Office said the organisation cannot comment on the security of individuals.

But the statement added: “Local garda management closely monitors the allocation of garda personnel and deployment of resources in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in the Togher District to ensure the best possible service is provided to the public.” 

It continued: “Policing is dynamic and demands and resources vary on an ongoing basis. 

"An Garda Síochána operates a Control Room strategy which ensures that garda resources are available to respond to calls for service from the public, including situations where a local resource is not immediately available. 

"Senior garda management is satisfied that a comprehensive policing service continues to be delivered in the Cork Division and that current structures in place meet the requirement to deliver an effective and efficient policing service to the community. 

"This situation is kept under review.”

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