Dáil rejects FF motion to keep garda stations open

Wednesday 30 January 2013 23.56
Opposition TDs criticised the garda station closures saying they would increase fear of crime in rural areas
Opposition TDs criticised the garda station closures saying they would increase fear of crime in rural areas

The Dáil has rejected a Fianna Fáil motion to keep open 95 garda stations due to close tomorrow.

During the debate, Opposition TDs criticised the closures, saying they would increase fear of crime in rural areas.

The second half of the private members debate was delayed because the Dáil was adjourned for several hours to allow TDs to attend the State funeral of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.

At that funeral, Father Michael Cusack in his homily said it was necessary to reflect on the need for further policing, particularly in rural communties where people were going to bed at night in fear.

That was a theme echoed by many TDs in the debate on garda station closures.

Independent TD Shane Ross said the people and the gardaí were against the closures; only the Government and the burglars were in favour.

Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley said the minister was shutting out the light in many rural communities, and that would return to haunt him.

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch said the new garda roster meant highly trained members were released from indoor duties so they were available for frontline operational policing, and the gardaí would continue to work with the communities they serve.