30 new gardaí temporarily stationed in Cork city over Christmas

30 new gardaí temporarily stationed in Cork city over Christmas

More than 30 new gardaí have been temporarily stationed in Cork city to tackle thefts, public order incidents, drugs and traffic issues during the busy Christmas period.

The probationers have started in the city already and will remain in place until January 1.

The 32 probationers have been temporarily assigned to Anglesea Street, Mayfield, Watercourse Road, Togher, Douglas, Carrigaline, Gurranabraher, Ballincollig, Bridewell and Blackrock Garda Stations.

In January, eight of these will be retained in Cork city, allocated to Anglesea Street and Mayfield.

Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said the new recruits will help to prevent and react to issues as they emerge in the coming busy Christmas season.

"I am delighted to welcome the 32 probationer Gardaí who have been temporarily assigned to assist in our Christmas management plan this year," he said.

"I am also delighted that eight of these probationers will then be permanently allocated to Anglesea Street and Mayfield Garda Station.

"The 32 probationers will be deployed to assist our Gardaí in the city at keys times that have been identified by the Garda Analysis Services.

"Our aim is proving high viability policing to tackle thefts, drugs, public order incidents and to help the flow of traffic in the city."

The allocation of the probationer gardaí comes just weeks after the Irish Examiner reported concerns about chronic shortages of gardaí on the beat in Cork city.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said Cork city was short 125 frontline gardaí.

Gardaí are also bogged down with secretarial and administrative work, limiting the time they can spend on the street, the GRA said.

On one night, Saturday, March 30, just a single patrol car containing two gardaí was operating in the city centre at a time when thousands of people were spilling out of nightclubs.

Chief Supt McPolin said the probationers will supplement regular members of the force.

"The probationer gardaí will be in addition to the regular members policing the city, as well as an additional one sergeant and four gardaí who will be patrolling the city centre," he said.

Members from our Roads Policing Unit will also be increasing checkpoints targeting drink and drug driving and other general road offences.

"The flow of traffic will increase in the city and I would ask that where possible, people avail of public transport and use the park and ride facility we have here in Cork."

The announcement coincided with the launch of Operation 'Open City', which will run in Cork, Limerick and Dublin until Christmas Eve.

Operation ‘Open City’ involves a multi-agency approach between Gardaí, the National Transport Authority, local authorities and transport providers to minimise traffic disruption through "high visibility and enforcement activity".

Gardaí will patrol major arterial routes and link routes during core commuter hours.

There will also be an increased focus on traffic management at car parks at major shopping areas.

Of the 197 new gardaí who graduated from Templemore on November 29, a large allocation has been assigned to 'Open City'.

This includes the aforementioned 32 in Cork city, as well as 32 in Limerick city and 89 in the Dublin region.

The remaining 44 have been deployed to the border regions.

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