Garda cars at Garda HQ in the Phoenix Park
A lack of gardaí in South Kildare has led to Athy Garda Station being short of nine officers, Senator Mark Wall has claimed.
The Labour party representative said in the Seanad that the lack of gardaí in the region is causing problems for morale in the force and in the interactions between gardaí and the communities they serve.
He said: “We all welcome the allocation of an additional 800 gardaí, as announced in the budget, however, the communities in Kildare South want to see the gardaí on the beat, on their streets and in their communities.
“They want to hear a local Garda on the phone when they ring their local station, rather than being transferred to a station in another town. It is safe to say that the gardaí themselves want to ensure that their units are at full capacity and are not left without the adequate cover to perform their duties.
“In Athy Garda station, I am told we have 11 regular gardaí who are trying to service four units. Each unit should have a minimum of five regular gardaí, however, Athy station has only 11 and is, therefore, short nine gardaí in these units, at a minimum.”
Senator Wall said that the number of gardaí per head of population in Kildare South has always been among the lowest in the State.
He said: “Expanding populations in the towns of Newbridge, Kildare, Athy, Rathangan and Monasterevin need additional gardaí.”
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