Thomas Pringle has today called for the full retention of Garda station opening hours in Donegal Town.
The Donegal TD was speaking ahead of a meeting in Donegal Town last night which was held to demand a retention of a full-time Garda service in the area.
Deputy Pringle said “The public meeting sends a very important message that further reduction of our Garda force is unacceptable. There are proposals to reduce opening hours down to 10-2pm and 8pm-10pm only (Mon-Sat) and 10-2pm on Sundays.
“Couple this with a continuing reduction in overall Garda numbers in Donegal Town from 34 in 2008 to just 22 by 2016 residents are worried the trend will not end here”.
Deputy Pringle said the threatened downgrading of the Garda Station in Donegal Town is another example of the complete disregard that Fine Gael have for the people of rural Ireland.
“They have put in place policies that neither reflect nor protect the public interest at heart and Fianna Fáil are to blame for continuing to support them in Government”.
“As a result, residents in rural towns are forced to campaign to keep their basic community services open. We’ve seen this with closures of post offices, GPs and even private bank facilities in towns across Donegal.
“The 24-hour presence of Gardaí is important particularly as the nature of crime is changing and local community policing becomes a vital part of combating crime. I’ve already had concerned residents and businesses in touch with my office over visible increases in crime since Garda numbers have been reduced across the County.”
He added that the people of Donegal and Donegal Town should be angry over this latest development because it reflects a long tradition of anti-rural policies and anti-local sentiment within the political parties who care only care about the monetary value that services bring to populations.
“It’s time we demanded a different approach and called into question the policies put forward by Fine Gael to date and how they have been pushed through with Fianna Fáil support to the detriment of towns and residents across Donegal and rural Ireland,” he concluded.Tags: