It has been revealed that three rural Garda stations in Donegal do not have an internet connection to access the Garda network.
Stations in Pettigo, Kilmacrennan and Ballintra do not have internet connectivity to allow officers to access Garda ICT services including the PULSE database.
Nationally, one in five Garda stations are not connected. The lack of access to Garda ICT resources has been described as ‘unbelievable’ and ‘prehistoric’ by the Garda Representative Association (GRA).
There are 564 operational Garda stations in Ireland, with 111 currently not connected to the Garda Network.
In revealing the figures, Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said that Gardai in unconnected stations can access PULSE at their local district station. He said that connectivity for 34 stations is now nearing completion, with a further 12 to be connected by the end of 2018.
“I am further informed that An Garda Síochána is engaged in planning connectivity solutions for the remaining 65 stations, taking into account factors such as local access to broadband services and the potential for mobile connectivity,” Minister Flanagan said.
Garda Representative Association (GRA) spokesperson John O’Keeffe said that the Irish public deserve more than such ‘catastrophic IT failings’.
Mr O’Keefe said: “Report after report over the last number of years has highlighted pre-historic communication systems in the Force as being central to its current inability to communicate with the public, itself, or indeed its own software systems.”