Department’s CCTV scheme is a ‘joke’ – Niall Collins
DEPUTY Niall Collins raised concerns over Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale garda stations, the lack of a full-time superintendent in Bruff and Limerick’s “catastrophic loss in its number of gardaí” during a special Dail debate on rural crime.
Deputy Collins said he heard late on the previous night that Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan had paid a visit to Limerick.
“He visited the garda station in Newcastle West, which is in need of refurbishment works, as he knows. Had I known he was there, I would have come along. I would have pointed out to him that the relatively new garda station down the road in Abbeyfeale is open for only a small number of hours per day.
"This station was opened in late 2006 by the then Justice Minister, Michael McDowell. There is a glaring need for that purpose-built garda station to be open much more to serve the local community in Abbeyfeale,” said Deputy Collins.
He turned to the other side of the county while addressing the Dail chamber.
“The Bruff district has not had a permanent superintendent for a long period. We have had many fine superintendents passing through the place.
"Currently, there is a very good acting superintendent [Inspector Dermot O’Connor]. I ask the minister to direct his efforts towards securing a permanent superintendent for the Bruff district,” said the Fianna Fail spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Deputy Collins also said the Limerick garda division “suffered a catastrophic loss in its number of gardaí during the years of the moratorium”.
“We are still well behind the curve in catching up. We have fared very poorly in terms of the recruitment allocation from Templemore,” said Deputy Collins.
“The Bruff district alone needs five gardai and actually more,” he said. The response to his question to the Minister for Justice also revealed that of the 1,400 new gardai that have come out of Templemore since it reopened in September 2014, Limerick has got 39.
“That is 2% of all new recruits we have got in Limerick. We are being ignored,” said Deputy Collins last month.
He concluded his two minutes Dail speaking time on the provision of CCTV.
“The scheme administered by the Department is a joke. People who apply are not being awarded grant aid towards the provision of CCTV. The application process is completely complicated and convoluted, as the Minister well knows.
“We are running a pilot scheme in Limerick throughout our joint policing committee, of which I am a member. It is quite successful. In conjunction with the local authority and the gardaí, we are rolling out the scheme right across the county. I ask the Minister and his Department to partner up with the joint policing committee in Limerick and roll out the scheme in more communities across the county and the rest of the country.”