THE chairman of the Limerick city joint policing committee has welcomed confirmation that 170 new cars are to be added to the garda fleet before the end of the year.
The new vehicles, which will be supplied by Ford Ireland include patrol cars, unmarked cars as well as a number of vans.
Cllr Michael Hourigan says he is hopeful that a significant number of the vehicles will be assigned to the Limerick garda division.
“The gardai need to have high quality and modern cars in order to respond to incidents as quickly as possible,” said Cllr Hourigan.
“Even though the gardai in Limerick are doing a tremendous job in tackling and preventing crime, it is essential that they have proper cars,” he added.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter says €3m will be spent on upgrading the fleet nationally over the coming weeks.
“This is a substantial investment in garda transport, particularly at a time of severe budgetary constraints,” he said.
It has not been announced how many of the new vehicles will be based in Limerick.
However, in recent months a number of garda patrol cars have been taken out of service in Limerick due to their high mileage.
A number of other garda cars were taken out of service over the summer after they were involved in crashes or ramming incidents.
In addition, the Limerick Leader understands that up a dozen more cars are likely to be decommissioned in the coming months due to their high mileage.
The shortage of official patrol cars has also resulted in detectives having to use rented vehicles to transport evidence to and from Dublin for high profile criminal trials.