Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas Cheann Comhairle has raised the issue of plans to downgrade Donegal Town Garda Station with senior personnel ahead of potential cuts to opening hours.
It emerged this week that plans were being considered to significantly reduce the opening hours of Donegal Town Garda Station from a 24 hour basis to a maximum of six hours per day.
Numerous constituents and members of the business community of Donegal Town have expressed their concern at the reduction of opening hours and its impact on crime levels in the town and neighbouring communities.
Donegal deputy Pat The Cope has said he brought the heavily criticised proposals to the fore with senior garda personnel to share the serious concerns of the community.
Pat the Cope stated, “I have asked the Garda Authorities to consider all options before making a final decision in relation to the opening hours of the station and to further consider improving the overall numbers of Gardaí within the county.
“I stressed to them the urgent need to maintain a strong garda presence within the Donegal Town areas; the presence of Gardaí in any area is the greatest deterrent to crime and is a source of great comfort to the elderly in our community.
“Security can only be guaranteed if we have Garda numbers, and the decision being considered by Garda authorities at present is a direct result of declining numbers within the county.
“Since 2010 over 101 less Gardaí serve within the Donegal Division, that is a decline of 21% in numbers. It is impossible for any organisation to provide the same level of public service when their numbers have been cut so drastically.
“I am bringing this matter up in the Dáil by way of a motion to the Justice Minister at the earliest convenience; I have also secured a meeting with the Regional Commissioner of the Garda Siochána in order to discuss this matter.
“It is imperative that every avenue be explored before any of these proposals are brought in, consultation is now essential with the community in order to hear their concerns.
“I am again requesting the Garda Authorities, the Minister for Justice and the Government to increase Garda numbers in Donegal so that communities right across the county can be assured of a visible and strong Garda presence, in order to best protect our areas from the rising menace of crime and robbery in rural areas,” concluded Pat the Cope.Tags: