Tuesday, 17 May 2005
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
I am informed by the Garda authorities, who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that it is the responsibility of the divisional officer for County Clare to allocate personnel within his or her division. Ì have been further informed by the Garda authorities that the current personnel strength of Kilkee Garda station is two gardaí.
Garda management will continue to appraise the policing and administrative strategy employed in the Clare division with a view to ensuring an effective Garda service is maintained. The situation will be kept under review and when additional personnel next become available, the needs of the Clare division will be fully considered within the overall context of the needs of Garda divisions throughout the country.
On Garda resources generally, I am pleased that the Government has approved my proposal to increase the strength of the Garda Síochána to 14,000 members on a phased basis, in line with the agreed programme for Government commitment. This is a key commitment in the programme for Government and its implementation will significantly strengthen the operational capacity of the force.
The Commissioner is now drawing up plans on how best to distribute and manage these additional resources. In this context, the needs of Kilkee Garda station will be fully considered within the context of the needs of Garda stations throughout the country. Clearly, the additional resources will be targeted at the areas of greatest need, as is envisaged in the programme for Government. The programme identifies particular areas with a significant drugs problem and a large number of public order offences, but it will be possible to address other priorities as well, such as the need to significantly increase the number of gardaí allocated to traffic duties as part of the new Garda traffic corps. I have already promised that the additional gardaí will not be put on administrative duties. They will be put directly into frontline, operational, high-visibility policing and they will have a real impact.