Remarks by Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD
Topical issues Debate Dáil Eireann
7 April 2015
The need to increase Garda resources in North West Kildare, given the
escalation of intimidation against Gardaí and residents in the Carbury area
– Deputy Anthony Lawlor
The need to prevent personal threats and intimidation of An Garda Síochána
by criminal gangs, and to deploy additional resources, as required,
including North West Kildare, to combat the issue.
– Deputy Bernard J. Durkan
I am speaking on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality who
regrets that she cannot be present due to other official commitments. She
is grateful to the Deputies for raising this important matter in the House
The Minister has asked me to assure the Deputies that she is, of course,
aware of the threats made against members of the Garda Síochána in County
I have no doubt that every Member of this House will share the Minister’s
view, and mine, that such actions are to be roundly condemned. I know that
we also all appreciate how important it is that we discuss this issue in a
manner which does not heighten the distress for those impacted and their
families. It is, regrettably, also the case that the issue of intimidation
of Gardaí going about their duty is not confined to the instances referred
to by the Deputies.
An Garda Síochána plays a key role in keeping our citizens and our
communities safe and secure. On our behalf, day in and day out, individual
Gardaí carry out challenging, demanding and sometimes dangerous tasks in
the course of their duty. In doing this the Gardaí are deserving of the
support they get from the communities that they serve. The Minister knows
that individual Gardaí, in the best traditions of the Force, will not be
intimidated from carrying out their duties and will continue to do so
without fear or favour.
As the House will, of course, understand it would neither be wise nor
appropriate for the Minister to detail the operational measures that the
Garda authorities have taken or would take generally in these situations.
I can say on her behalf, however, that she has asked to be kept briefed by
the Commissioner in relation to the specific circumstances at issue here.
She is aware that whatever protective and detection measures are deemed
appropriate by the Garda authorities will certainly be taken. The
individual safety of Gardaí is a priority for the Garda authorities, as it
is for all of us. While the criminal law in this area is being kept under
ongoing review, I should also say that there is a range of robust
legislative provisions available to the Garda authorities in circumstances
where threats or assaults are made against Gardaí.
Insofar as the question of resources for policing generally in Kildare is
concerned, the Deputies will appreciate that the deployment of personnel
across the State is a matter for the Garda Commissioner. I can advise them
that the number of Gardaí assigned to the Division as the 31st March was
299 Gardaí, of which 73 were in the Leixlip District which includes Carbury
Garda Station, where there were 5 Gardaí assigned. Two additional Garda
personnel have been allocated to Carbury in recent times. The allocation
of overall Garda resources is kept under continuing review in the context
of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure these resources are
put to the best possible use.
For the Minister and the Government’s part, however, the key point is that
thanks to the resumption of recruitment, the Commissioner now has the
capacity to deploy new Gardaí for the first time since 2009. In fact, on
the 8th of May, five new probationer Gardaí are due to transfer to the
Kildare Garda Division. Similarly, investments are being made in vehicles
and IT, and in the recruitment of specialist professional staff. Policing
and community safety in Kildare will undoubtedly benefit from this
injection of resources, as it will in all other Garda Divisions.
This investment demonstrates the Minister and the Government’s commitment
to supporting the Gardaí in carrying out their duties, including in the
ongoing fight against organised and serious crime. We have not been under
any illusion about the depths to which those involved in this type of
criminality will sink. These latest incidents reinforces this and An Garda
Síochána will continue to confront, disrupt and bring to justice those
involved, on behalf of all law-abiding citizens.