A Cork TD has called for the Minister of Justice to intervene and ensure adequate Garda numbers in Carrigaline, to keep up with the town’s population which has “grown exponentially”.
Speaking in the Dáil during a debate with Minister of State for Justice James Browne, Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said that more Gardaí are needed in Carrigaline to ensure crime is tackled and prevented.
“If we break that figure down and take away the three sergeants, the warrants and firearms officer, the community gardaí and detectives, we are down to 12 or 13 Gardaí who are dedicated on a full-time basis to responding to incidents and patrolling the streets,” he added.
Deputy O’Laoghaire said that currently in Carrigaline there are “barely enough Gardaí to keep the station open and a patrol car out at night and during the day”, noting a number of recent incidents including the “sad fatal assault” of 29 year old Matt O’Neill.
He said that Garda resources have not kept pace with the population of Carrigaline with has “exploded” to 15,000 at the last census.
In response, Minister of State at the Department of Justice, James Browne, noted that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the allocation of Garda resources, and that the Minister of Justice has “no direct role in matters of operational policing”.
However, he said that the government is “committed to ensuring An Garda Síochána has the resources it needs”, with record funding of more that €2.14 billion allocated in the Garda budget in 2023.
Minister Browne said that comparing Garda resource allocation at the end of 2015 with the end of last year, the Togher district, which encompasses Carrigaline Garda station, has witnessed an increase in Garda members of more than 57%.
Deputy O’Laoghaire also noted that one in three people living in Carrigaline are under the age of 18, and said that it is important the town has the resources it needs to support young people.
Minister Browne said that there has been a “substantial increase” in funding for youth diversion projects in the past two budgets - €6.7 million in the first budget and €2.9 million in the second.
“Coming from a base of about €15 million that is a huge increase, and we will continue with that roll-out,” he said.