Earlier this week Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy raised the issue of falling Garda numbers in parts of the Roscommon/Longford division with particular reference to policing numbers in Boyle and Castlerea, with the Minister for Justice in the Dáil.
“The Minister has given a figure of 309 for 2017 but ten of them are Community Gardaí. That means that there are 299 full-time Gardaí. We can compare that number with the figure in 2010 and see that it has decreased, albeit slightly. In the meantime, there have been many extra challenges for An Garda Síochána…but we need to put more effort into this issue and recruit more Gardaí.
“I welcome the Minister's comments that new recruits will be deployed in the near future. In 2010 Boyle district had 41 full-time Gardaí. There are 18 there today. I accept that there have been some minor adjustments in the locality, but there has been an overall drop in the number of Gardaí.
“There is grave concern in the Castlerea area that there is not enough manpower available because of the size of the district that must be covered. This point has been made by members of the community and the Garda Representative Association,” said Deputy Murphy.
Deputy Murphy said that rural Ireland was getting a raw deal on security and people are upset.
“When are we going to have real security in rural Ireland? People are scared and we need to address this urgently,” he added.
He added that it was very difficult for communities to work with Gardaí when many of these communities had been raided of Gardaí resources.
Deputy Murphy also pointed out that a number of stations across County Roscommon had closed in recent years including Cootehall, Tarmonbarry, Ballintubber, Loughglynn, Ballyforan and Knockcroghery.