The officer didn’t want to be identified and wanted his location and rank concealed.
But he echoed what several Gardai have told donegaldaily.com in recent weeks.
With the scrapping of the Glenties District and fewer cars and Gardai on patrol, the Garda said he found it “astounding” a claim by Mr Kenny that new rosters are increasing contact with the public.
“The facts on the ground are different and I was amazed to hear his (the Taoiseach’s) response,” said the Garda.
“This system of policing has been tried in other countries including Britain and there they are talking about scrapping them again.
“With the closure of rural stations and the scrapping of the Glenties district altogether, we will – and are – losing touch with the communities we look after.
“They are our eyes and ears and without them, policing becomes impossible.”
He said a patrol car at night in a rural area “just can’t get to the other side of a District” at any speed.
“If there’s an emergency, the fact is that it might take more than 40 minutes to get to a scene depending on your location at the time,” he said.
“And there is often no-one else available to help out at that time. We are being dictated to by a mentality in Dublin who see Donegal on a map and think ‘sure it’s just up the road’ and they don’t realise the vast distances involved on bad and bending rural roads.”
He also spoke out on how Garda bosses in the capital have “failed miserably” to take into account the population centres in the North which can seriously increase crime in Donegal.
“The fact that Derry is literally on our doorstep isn’t even taken into consideration when it comes to staffing levels when clearly having the country’s four largest city there is always going to impact on Donegal,” he said.
New garda rosters came into effect April and, according to the Government, are aimed at improving efficiency and targeting resources at peak times.
The changes were negotiated under the Croke Park Agreement have been described as among the most significant for gardaí in 40 years.
Previously, the garda roster cycle was based around four units working eight-hour shifts, with one unit resting at any given time.
However, the new rosters involve more flexible ten-hour shifts with staggered starting times and a six-day on, four-day off cycle.
Each garda will work an average of 40 hours before overtime.
The idea is to schedule staff better to meet peak demand at weekends.
“They are a joke and they don’t work,” the Garda told us, “they’ve decreased flexibility rather than increased it.”
The issue of Garda resources was raised in the Dail today by Donegal Deputy Padraig Mac Lochlainn.
He specifically mentioned a case in Newtowncunningham who gave a Garda a lift to a crime scene because no patrol car was available.
Our earlier report is here