Border area needs more than just 25 extra gardaí
Only the deluded would deny that criminals have taken advantage of the declaration of the ceasefire and the dilution of garda numbers in the Border region. In August, Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan found her credibility on the line after Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald demanded that the IRA threat be reassessed in light of the murder of Kevin McGuigan.
At the time, reports cited senior gardaí who admitted the commissioner's then claim that the force had no "information or intelligence" on IRA activity was a grave mistake. Much has changed since then. When observance of the law becomes "notional", the issue must rapidly become one of enforcement.
The murder of Garda Tony Golden can be a watershed for the force, where cutbacks and closures can end once and for all. We now see 25 gardaí are to be transferred from stations in Dublin to the Border area.