Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has called on Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to provide Gardaí with more resources to tackle rural crime.
The Roscommon-South Leitrim Deputy said that crime in rural Ireland had reached “epidemic levels” and said the Government were responsible.
He said: “It is time that the Government and the Minister for Justice woke to the fact that the Gardaí are woefully under-resourced and that criminals are now roaming around rural Ireland carrying out crimes with very little chance of getting caught.
“This crime wave is not the fault of the Gardaí; it is the fault of the Government who have totally neglected the force.
“We need the Taoiseach and Minister Fitzgerald and the Garda Commissioner (Nóirín O’Sullivan) to formulate a realistic plan to tackle the rural crime wave and we need the Gardaí to immediately receive the resources that they require to put these criminals out of business.
“The culture of fear that exists in rural Ireland with regard to crime has to be tackled head on.”