'I hope alarm bells are ringing': Carrigaline needs more gardaí

Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus McGrath called for a discussion on the Garda resources serving the Carrigaline area as well as the opening hours of the Garda Station and plans to improve them.
'I hope alarm bells are ringing': Carrigaline needs more gardaí

Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus McGrath called for a discussion on the Garda resources serving the Carrigaline area as well as the opening hours of the Garda Station and plans to improve them.

CARRIGALINE does not have sufficient gardaí to cover the town, Friday’s meeting of the county Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus McGrath called for a discussion on the Garda resources serving the Carrigaline area as well as the opening hours of the Garda Station and plans to improve them.

Mr McGrath said that, tragically, a life had been lost in the town over the Christmas period, in addition to other serious incidents.

He added that while Carrigaline had about 10% of Cork’s population, it did not have 10% of its gardaí.

“I want to convey that people feel they are not getting an adequate level of policing in Carrigaline, surrounding villages, and the town of Passage West,” he told the meeting of gardaí and local politicians.

Policing has to be “visible on the ground” and “we just do not see sufficient gardaí on the beat, whether it’s on foot, on bicycle, or indeed in the patrol car. We don’t see check points to the extent that we should do,” he said.

The public “don’t believe” that there are more than 20 gardaí in Carrigaline, he added, claiming that sometimes, only one or two gardaí, are left there.

“The station has “limited” opening hours, and “even those hours cannot be relied upon.”

This is no reflection on individual members of the force, “but they are simply stretched too far. When you go out socially in Carrigaline, you do not see guards.”

Twenty years ago, there was a visible garda presence on the streets, he said.

Mr McGrath said Carrigaline is a great place to live, with many local groups creating a strong community.

“But there is clearly a small minority of people who need to face the consequences of their actions.

“I really hope that alarm bells are ringing by the fact that lives have been lost due to violent incidents.”

The garda human resources department determines the numbers of gardaí in an area based on criteria such as population size and crime trends.

Chief Superintendent Vincent O’Sullivan said 22 gardaí are stationed in Carrigaline, with two more in Crosshaven, and two in Passage West.

The garda station in Carrigaline is open from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays.

Additional community gardaí are due to go to Carrigaline, and it has a 24-hour policing service, with a patrol car. They are supported from Togher, and there is a significant Drugs Squad working in the area, added Chief Supt O’Sullivan.

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