Only one patrol car covering entire Clones and North Monaghan area at night says Senator
Senator Robbie Gallagher has demanded that the Minister for Justice and Equality come to the Seanad to address the issue of Garda numbers and policing along the border and particularly the need for plans to strengthen the force in the Cavan-Monaghan division, County Donegal and along the entire Border frontier in the event of a hard border.
Speaking after a report by two local gardai on their concerns over Brexit and its potential effects on the border area was featured in the media, Senator Gallagher said, “I wish to raise the issue of Garda numbers, particularly in Border counties. I refer, in particular, to comments made by two members of the Garda Representative Association, one from the Donegal division and the other from the Cavan-Monaghan division, in which they highlighted their concerns about Brexit and what might happen in the event that there was a hard border.”
The gardai had said that they were already stretched to breaking point. Senator Gallagher went on to say that the Gardai were putting the Government on notice that the Gardai did not have the numbers to provide an adequate policing service for the community as things stood, never mind in the event of a hard Brexit.
“To highlight this point, they gave a couple of examples. They referred to Clones, County Monaghan, which has a population of over 3,000 people. All it has is one sergeant and two gardaí. Monaghan Garda Station recently lost three members, or 10% of its entire workforce, and they have not been replaced,” he said.
“The area from the Cavan border to the Armagh border which covers three counties is patrolled by one patrol car with two personnel on board, if we are lucky. It includes Monaghan town, Clones and the entire countryside, Scotshouse, Tydavnet, Emyvale, Glaslough, to Annyalla and Clontibret. This clearly shows that there is a serious issue with Garda numbers in the Border counties. Brexit clearly poses further challenges. Front line Gardaí have now warned they may not have the resources to combat cross-border terrorism and crime in the event of a hard Brexit and that Brexit ‘could stretch Gardaí on the Irish border to breaking point. The Minister, and the Government need to address this issue urgently,” he concluded.