Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said the main task facing him after nine weeks in the job is to build up confidence in the force.

Speaking to RTÉ News after a joint community policing event in Co Longford last night, he said he needed the input and support of the general public to help achieve this.

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Commissioner Harris said he was going to the regions to get local feedback on crime prevention.

He told the meeting that he wanted people to be able to live in a society where they can feel safe from crime.

However, when it was put to him that some residents did not know their local gardaí any more, he said he would address that criticism and ensure individuals were made aware of a garda they could go to.

He said an operational case could to be made for the re-opening of rural stations based on the demand for services, but mobile surgeries in villages would also be examined.

Commissioner Harris would not comment specifically on the retirement of the former press officer David Taylor, but he said he saw the concluding pages of the Charleton Report as being written directly to him as a call for action and he would not be found wanting in his response.

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