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Dáil Speech on Garda Station Closures – Wednesday 30th January

I too offer sympathy on the death of Adrian Donohoe who was a brave and courageous garda. Like many other gardaí he stood for law and order.

Tomorrow will be a sad day for me as the Garda station in Kill will close tomorrow morning. I have been asked to attend there with the sergeant to watch the building close. The building may close but the gardaí are not going away. The two gardaí stationed there will move into Naas. Pat Murphy, the garda in the area will do what he has been doing for the past few years, going out around the community, meeting people and getting information. I was sorry I could not meet Deputy Niall Collins last Tuesday when he arrived in Kill and addressed a few people in the local pub. I wonder if he told them the truth, that under his party’s proposed national development plan spending would have been reduced by €90 million per annum or about the gardaí numbers that would have resulted from those cuts, or about the structures that his party left behind. We have to pick up the pieces and make courageous decisions about policing.

I congratulate the gardaí in my area who a couple of weeks ago made a large drugs haul worth between €3 million and €5 million. Last Monday night they discovered a grow house in the Naas area, through local information. It is most important that the gardaí are on the ground, even if their building is no longer there, getting information from the community. I and my colleagues in Kildare will work hard to ensure that Garda numbers are increased in the county because in the previous 14 years, when Fianna Fáil was in power the numbers were reduced. We will also work to ensure a continuous Garda presence in the community. We will meet the Commissioner and the Chief Superintendent in Kildare regularly to ensure that there are continued community Garda patrols in my area. The Minister has a very difficult task in picking up the pieces left by the previous Government. Fianna Fáil has some gall to bring this motion forward.