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Criminals delighted with Shatter - Fianna Fail

FIANNA FAIL justice spokesman Niall Collins says "criminals are delighted" with Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

The party's Ard Fheis in the RDS in Dublin has seen a heavy attack on the Government's record on in the justice area.

Up to 4,000 party members are expected to attend the two-day event, which began last night.

The Ard Fheis will culminate with the leader's speech from Michael Martin tonight.

Over the course of the day, the party will debate a range of issues, including crime, mortgages, the economy and there will be a motions discussed on abortion.

Mr Collins said Mr Shatter had reduced Garda resources, closed Garda stations and was now in a dispute with the judges.

He said the minister had "steadily eroded" the morale of the force, he had given the banks a "stranglehold" on struggling mortgage-holders and "poisoned" the relationship between the Government and the judiciary.

"It's a strange world we live in when the Labour Party is fighting with the trade unions and Fine Gael has fallen out with the Law Library," he said.

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Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin and Claudia Kennedy a local area representative from Ballyshannon pictured at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis.

Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin and Claudia Kennedy a local area representative from Ballyshannon pictured at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis.

Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin and Claudia Kennedy a local area representative from Ballyshannon pictured at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis.

Mr Collins said his party was strongly opposed to the closure of urban and rural Garda stations.

"You are effectively breaking the link between An Garda Siochana and the community that member of An Garda Siochana has served," he said.

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