Gov 'not dealing' with lack of resources in border areas following Lunney attack

Gov 'not dealing' with lack of resources in border areas following Lunney attack

The Government has been accused of failing to deal with a serious lack of resources in border areas following the brutal attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney.

The Dáil has heard that while extra resources are needed to investigate the kidnapping, detention and torture of the Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) executive, the Government also needs to ensure that no other crimes are allowed to be committed as a result of lack of resources.

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty told the Dáil that he had received a letter from a business owner based on the border in recent days who told him that there had been "numerous assaults and other problems but they no longer contact the Gardaí because it is a waste of their time".

"This week somebody seriously intoxicated was on their premises. They phoned the Garda and it took an hour for the gardaí to respond. Within that hour the person left. They got into their car and drove on to a national road. What if somebody was killed? What if somebody's mother lost their life as a result of that?

We have a serious issue with lack of resources in Border communities and unfortunately the Government is not dealing with it.

The Donegal TD said no one is more disgusted by the recent attack on Mr Lunney and threats against the other Quinn executives than the people in the area where Quinn group workers live and raise their families and said they must now be supported.

Responding, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said significant resources have been put in place in border regions in recent times.

"Garda deployment in all areas of the country, and the northern region in particular, has benefited from increased Garda recruitment over the past three years. Due to Government funding, Garda strength in the northern region has increased to approximately 1,500, an increase of 150 since 2017."

He said these gardaí are supported by approximately 160 civilians in the region, compared with 116 at the end of 2016.

"As of September 30, 373 were gardaí assigned to the Cavan-Monaghan division, supported by 47 Garda staff and eight reserves. We now have an armed support unit in Cavan."

The Tánaiste said a number of arrests have been made in connection with incidents relating to employees and property of QIH, and files have been forwarded to the DPP.

"No charges have been directed at this time in respect of those investigations, but they are still ongoing," said Mr Coveney, but added that the issues are a priority right at the top of Government.

Mr Doherty replied: "I acknowledge we are being told that progress is being made, but we must ensure that those involved in the commission and orchestration of this brutal attack are apprehended."

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