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Sunday 22 April 2018

Outrage after cut in garda overtime

Independent TD Finian McGrath Photo: Tom Burke
Independent TD Finian McGrath Photo: Tom Burke
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Garda overtime sanctioned in the wake of the gangland attack at the Regency Hotel has been stopped despite feud tensions running high.

The Irish Independent has learned that detectives in a north Dublin garda station who are investigating the Regency shooting have been told overtime has been withdrawn and they must now get approval to work additional hours.

Armed patrols were put in place across the city following the fatal shooting in February.

Local TD Finian McGrath said it was "outrageous" that overtime had been cut already.

"We were all given a commitment that funding would be available to prevent further violent crimes and the budget was to be used to prevent serious violent crimes and deaths and here we have more cuts which are putting lives at risk," he said.

"Nobody has been arrested, there are serious criminals running around and a lot of communities are living in fear of intimidation from these gangs," he said.

Gardaí should be able to draw down more overtime to tackle gang crime in the city, the Independent deputy added.

"It's too serious not to," he said. "On top of the human cost, every death and serious incident also costs the taxpayers money in relation to investigations and proceedings after a horrific event.

"The overtime would be money well-spent to save human lives," he added.

A garda spokeswoman said she could not discuss overtime and extra armed patrols as they were "operational matters".

Meanwhile, Daithi De Roiste, the head of the Dublin city Joint Policing Committee, said Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald needed to ensure there was adequate funding in place, and not only when the media spotlight is on gang crime.

"Nobody likes to see the Emergency Response Unit on the street, but it is a welcome sign when law and order are breaking down and you have gangs running riot," he said.

A garda source said they were predicting a rise in attacks. "The gangs are not stupid. They'll see the patrols are gone now that the overtime has dried up," the source said.

Irish Independent

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