By Direct Democracy Ireland
The frustration of 1,500 people from around the country was very evident at the first “save our community” meeting in Thurles yesterday, over half of the attendees claimed to be victims of crime. The recent release of findings from the CSO, of the 8.4% increase in the amount of burglaries committed in the last year (since June 2014), demonstrate the devastating effects of closing 139 Garda stations in rural communities throughout Ireland. While the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice might state that there are 550 more Garda recruits in training, these placements will only be replacing the numbers of guards who have taken retirement. This will do nothing to increase the security of the residents in 139 parishes that have had their Garda station closed with catastrophic consequences.
The residents of these effected communities are left to fend for themselves against professional criminals. Residents are entitled to an explanation as to why they were subjected to this unacceptable risk for an average daily saving of only €9.89 per Garda station This insignificant saving is in stark contrast to the Government wasting €48,000,000 on the failed Thornton hall prison site and €38,000,000 on the Eircode system. Direct Democracy Ireland is calling on the present Government to reverse these unacceptable Garda station closures. The previous Minister for Justice must be recalled to give a full account of the rationale behind this decision to close 139 rural Garda stations, recouping only €500,000 in total savings.
An explanation as to why proposals to protect rural communities have not even been implemented. In light of the unacceptable risk that has been forced on these 139 communities for an average daily saving of €9.89 per Garda station, DDI is calling on the Government to reopen these critical Garda stations immediately. Between Thornton hall and the Eircode system, €86,000,000 has been needlessly wasted and could have been better used tackling the homeless crisis, the Government must stop its disjointed irrational spending and risk rate the needs of its citizens for all future spending.
The figure of €9.89 average daily saving was calculated as follows:
€500,000 (saving) divided by 139 (closed stations) divided by 365 days