Fianna Fáil refuse to commit on re-opening of closed garda stations

Fianna Fáil will not commit to re-opening all closed garda stations despite promising to combat rural crime.

Although the opposition party have been highly critical of the government for closing garda stations across the country, they will not reinstate all of these stations and instead will leave the decision to the garda inspectorate.

Earlier this month Fianna Fáil accused Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald of “being in a state of denial” about the impact the closure of rural garda stations has had on crime.

Dara Calleary claimed she is ignoring the impact of the closure of 139 stations since 2011. But launching the party’s crime policy yesterday, justice spokesman Niall Collins said it would not be possible to re-open all of the closed 139 garda stations as some of these sites have already been sold.

Describing the closures as a “retrograde step” Mr Collins said communities had been left “completely isolated and vulnerable”.

Fianna Fáil refuse to commit on re-opening of closed garda stations

But he said it would be up to the garda inspectorate to assess whether it would be viable or not to re-open these stations.

Senator Mary White said Fianna Fáil would commit to re-opening Stepaside garda station in Dublin if elected to power.

Ms White said it was “folly by Alan Shatter” to close the station and Fianna Fail are “100% committed” to re-opening it.

The party are now promising to bring the force up to 15,000 and will more than double Garda Reserves to 2,500.

Mr Collins said: “Fine Gael and Labour closed 139 Garda stations, saving a measly €556,000 a year while rural communities are left unprotected.

“This policy was extremely short-sighted and has increased rural isolation.”

Fianna Fáil would also provide for 3,433 new cars including 412 high-powered garda cars.

Fianna Fáil refuse to commit on re-opening of closed garda stations

On the issue of re-opening stations Mr Collins said the garda inspectorate should be brought in to do an impact analysis.

“We know the impact of the area where the garda stations were closed where crime has gone up,” he added.

More on this topic

Water charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leaderWater charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leader

Independent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by ThursdayIndependent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by Thursday

Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'

Leo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrathLeo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrath


Lifestyle

They’re still a fairly new phenomenon on the interiors scene, but the growing popularity of listening to podcasts has provided us with an easy-to-access source of ideas and advice, writes Carol O’Callaghan.Listen and learn: How podcasts can help you source cool interiors ideas

Live your cheese dream for one night only.Video: The world’s first cheese hotel has opened its doors

For Galway-based nature lover and grandmother, Marion Edler-Burke, forest-walking is balm for the soul.Parents for the Planet: It’s revitalising to see the wood and the trees

Working outside in your front garden can help people meet and encourage neighbours to become friends, says Hannah Stephenson.How your garden can help you make new friends

More From The Irish Examiner