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Sunday 18 March 2018

Connacht won't get any garda recruits

Losing out: Rural crime is up Photo: Tony Gavin
Losing out: Rural crime is up Photo: Tony Gavin
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Connacht has not received a single trainee garda from the latest batch of new recruits as fears over rural crime continue to simmer.

New figures obtained by the Sunday Independent reveal 75 of the next tranche of 147 recruits passing out from Templemore in the next few weeks will be stationed in Dublin. The majority of the remaining officers will be deployed in the Leinster region.

The West of Ireland, in particular, will lose out badly once again in the deployment of extra gardai.

And in Munster, counties Kerry and Limerick will not get any of the newly trained officers. The latest figures come as the pressure to concentrate resources in the greater Dublin area has reached unprecedented levels, following a spate of gangland shootings. There have been repeated calls in recent days for a greater garda presence on the ground, particularly in the city's key crime spots.

However, there's also an ongoing demand for an increased policing presence in rural counties - coupled with the reopening of garda stations shut down by the previous government.

The latest provisional figures show that west of the Shannon, and counties on the Atlantic seaboard, are getting few if any of the new recruits coming on stream. This is the second successive occasion where the allocation of manpower is strongly skewed in favour of Dublin, Leinster and the east coast.

Sources say this pattern is unlikely to change until there is a major overall increase in the current levels of garda recruitment.

The graduation of the latest tranche of trainee gardai is due to take place next month.

Many of Dublin's inner-city stations, where a number of investigations are taking place into the activities of gangland criminals, will benefit from beefed up manpower.

Store Street, Kevin Street, Henry Street and Pearse Street are in line to receive 27 new members between them.

Tipperary has an allocation of 10, while Waterford will get five of the recruits. Clare will also benefit from five more officers - with Wexford and Carlow set to gain five new gardai respectively.

Elsewhere, Laois and Kildare will also each receive five new gardai. In a statement, An Garda Siochana said it did not comment on resource allocations in advance of the deployment of newly trained recruits, as they can be subject to change due to "operational reasons".

Sunday Independent

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