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Rural areas to be left without garda patrol cars

In Clare, 8 garda cars have not been replaced after being decomissioned – leaving just 13 cars patrolling the entire county.

Image: Darren Hall via Creative Commons

RURAL PARTS OF the country will be left without any garda patrols as decommissioned cars are not being replaced, an Opposition TD has warned.

Large numbers of marked patrol cars that have been decommissioned after reaching their mileage limits have not been replaced, according to figures obtained by Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley.

Eight patrol cars in Clare have been decommissioned and not replaced – leaving just 13 garda cars patrolling the entire county.

Of these 13 marked garda cars, 9 have clocked up between 250,000 and 293,000 kilometres, meaning they are on the brink of being decommissioned.

“This is a dangerous situation,” said Dooley. “This puts communities that are already isolated at further risk of increased crime”.

More patrol cars are due to be taken off the road within the next year and there is as yet no commitment to replace them.

“The visual nature of rural policing is particularly important,” said Dooley, the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport.

People feel safer knowing that gardaí are available to patrol their area and a visible garda presence dramatically reduces criminal activity.
Dooley blamed the government for making budget cutbacks which affect rural Ireland and criticised Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice.

“This raises more concerns about Minister Alan Shatter’s commitment to rural policing. He has already moved to shut a number of rural garda stations across the country and reduce Garda numbers in smaller communities,” said Dooley.

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