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Gardai get Christmas present of 170 vehicles

GARDAI are to get 170 new patrol cars and other vehicles in time for Christmas and the New Year.

Stations across the country have been promised an early present by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

The investments means that 212 new vehicles will have been purchased for gardai this year.

Mr Shatter said the money for the new vehicles "is being made available at a time of severe budgetary constraints and represents a substantial investment in garda transport".

The new vehicles will come "on steam" in December and January when they will be rolled out to Garda divisions throughout the country, he said.

"The actual arrangements for the deployment of Garda transport are, of course, a matter in the first instance for the Garda Commissioner in the context of his identified operational requirements," Mr Shatter told Senator Trevor O'Clochartaigh.

"In turn, at Garda Divisional level, the allocation of Garda vehicles is a matter for the chief superintendent who may make and revise arrangements for the deployment of vehicles throughout a division in response to policing demands," he said.

"This flexibility in allocating and reallocating vehicles among stations so as to best match resources with policing priorities is crucial to the efficient management of the garda fleet," the minister said.

"As a consequence, the senator will appreciate that it is not possible to provide a breakdown of the locations."


The senator had asked Mr Shatter to give a breakdown by country and by district of the allocation of the new vehicles.

Mr Shatter said the deployment of garda vehicles "is subject to ongoing analysis and review".

"This process allows garda management to allocate available resources within the force in the most appropriate manner," he said.

The senator expressed concern about rising rural crime and called on the minister to allocate an extra garda car to South Connemara.