Friday 20 April 2018

John Downing: Garda cutbacks unavoidable but now our safety is threatened

John Downing

John Downing

LET'S start with an easy question: Who said this? "It is absolutely vital for the security of this State, to maintain law and order and to provide to the community the protection to which it is entitled, that the garda force is maintained, at a minimum, at its present numbers."

Surely, it was one of those pesky opposition TDs jumping on the bandwagon of recent crime reports and making an unholy alliance with the garda unions? Well, it was not – in fact it was the Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Aha, we hear you say, surely he said that ages ago when the country was still awash with cash? But you would be wrong again – Mr Shatter's statement was barely two years ago, in December 2010, when it was abundantly clear just how broke we were after three years of recession – though he was heading into election mode.

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