Local Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has highlighted the need for the community Garda post in Taughmaconnell to be maintained.
Eugene Murphy has called on the Government to place a renewed focus on community policing following the failure to fill a post in the Taughmaconnell area following the recent retirement of the community Garda in the area.
Deputy Murphy recently tabled a parliamentary question with the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality when he queried when the post of community Garda for the Taughmaconnell area of County Roscommon would be filled.
“In the reply the Minister for Justice stated that the Taughmaconnell area is covered by the Roscommon District and that as of the 31 March 2017, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 80 Garda assigned to this District, two of which were Community Garda. I am not satisfied with this response as the Minister in a lengthy and convoluted manner basically emphasised the importance of community policing and maintained community policing was a matter for all Gardai and not just a single unit so in a roundabout way the Minister seems to be stating that the community policing post in Taughmaconnell will not be filled which it totally unacceptable,” said Deputy Murphy.
Eugene Murphy also said that Gardai resources across the region have been raided under Fine Gael and Labour. The number of officers on the ground has fallen by almost 10% since 2010, from 237 to 215.
Deputy Murphy pointed out that only five new Gardai had been assigned to the Longford/Roscommon Garda division to date and he highlighted the number of stations across County Roscommon which had closed in recent years including Cootehall, Tarmonbarry, Ballintubber, Loughglynn, Ballyforan and Knockcroghery. The Fianna Fail TD also pointed out that towns such as Elphin, Tulsk and Athleague had also witnessed a loss of Gardai.
Deputy Murphy said that rural communities such as Tauaghmaconnell have been hit time and time again. “Fear levels have increased, particularly in areas which have seen their stations close and the loss of a community Garda post in Taughmaconnell is a major cause of concern for people in the area. A strong Garda presence is an extremely important tool in the fight against crime, and these communities have lost a vital resource,” concluded Deputy Murphy.