Like most State agencies and Government departments, An Garda Síochána is preparing for Brexit.

There is ongoing engagement between senior garda management and the Department of Justice in this regard.

There is also co-operation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

An assessment carried out by both forces last year on cross-border threats estimated that around 43% of organised crime groups in Northern Ireland have a cross-border dimension.

Mobile organised crime groups, responsible for multiple instances of domestic burglary, operate on an all-island basis.

Following today’s ATM theft in Castleblayney, Garda Superintendent Fergus Treanor said the frequency of such thefts is not only a concern for gardaí, but also for the local communities in the border region.

He said gardaí are at the very early stages of the investigation and are working closely with the PSNI. A number of criminal gangs are involved in these thefts, he added.

The rising number of new garda recruits has allowed the Garda Commissioner to increase the number of gardaí deployed along the border.

According to the Department of Justice, the strength of the northern region as of 28 February was 1,402 gardaí in border counties, which is an increase of 8% since 2016.

The deployment of additional gardaí to border counties will continue according to the Department, as more resources come on stream during 2019.

The table below shows the garda divisions in the northern region to which newly attested probationer gardaí have been assigned since recruitment recommenced in September 2014.

Probationer Garda Allocations by Divisions to Northern Region 2015-2019*

Division

Total (incl 8 Mar cohort)

No. from 8 Mar attestation

Cavan / Monaghan

90

15

Donegal

69

15

Sligo / Leitrim

31

7

Louth

106

12

Total

296

49

The ongoing recruitment according to the Department of Justice, will provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of gardaí to deliver a visible, effective and responsive policing service across all the garda regions including the northern region.