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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Murdered garda had become concerned at manpower levels

Garda Tony Golden: shot dead while attending a ‘domestic
Garda Tony Golden: shot dead while attending a ‘domestic

Paul Williams

Garda Tony Golden had expressed concerns to locals about the drop in garda manpower levels and station closures.

It is understood that the hero garda, who was murdered in Omeath two weeks ago, told local community activists that he was concerned at the level of policing in Co Louth and along the Border.

A source said that the brave garda had "briefed" a member of the local community alert in the village about the drop in garda numbers in the area between 2009 and 2013, when his colleague Adrian Donohoe was also murdered on the Cooley Peninsula.

"Tony was very concerned about the situation and he briefed the community alert member in confidence because they were due to meet a member of the Government to discuss crime issues," the source revealed.

"Tony pointed out the drop in numbers between 2009 and 2013 and said that the closure of Border stations was a big problem.

"He also said that there was such a drop in manpower that gardaí who were assigned to the Border at Hackballscross were being brought into Dundalk to assist the local officers because they were under serious pressure."

Meanwhile, the officer who led the Graham Dwyer investigation has been seconded to take charge of the Louth Division, it was revealed last night.

Chief Superintendent Diarmuid O'Sullivan is to take over from Chief Supt Pat McGee, who is due to retire on November 6.

Chief Supt O'Sullivan, who also led the police operation into the Carrickmines fire tragedy recently, spent over 20 years as a lead investigator of the elite anti-terrorist Special Detective Unit.

Heavily armed members of the Regional Support Unit have begun providing back-up to uniformed colleagues as they do checkpoints along the Border.

A number of checkpoints where armed gardaí were clearly visible took place in North Louth, including Dundalk, yesterday.

This comes after 27 extra gardaí were sent on temporary transfer to boost manpower in Dundalk.

Irish Independent

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