Fine Gael unable and unwilling to crackdown on rural crime – Cllr Pat Casey

“Fine Gael is unable and unwilling to crackdown on the rural crime crisis,” said Cllr Pat Casey. He demanded a similar response for urgent and overdue funding for Garda resources that suddenly appeared in the wake of two gangland murders in Dublin.

“The Minister for Justice said that there was no problem with resources to tackle Dublin’s armed response unit drawn from existing manpower – which will affect numerous Garda stations’ ability to respond to crime call outs – and a second Special Criminal Court. And then magicked up €5million from nowhere to deal with the Dublin crisis – but what about our rural crime crisis?” asked Cllr Casey.

“Here’s my five point challenge to the Minister,” said the Wicklow East Carlow Fianna Fail General Election candidate.

1. Deploy this new force on our motorways and as a rapid response unit to Dublin gangs running riot in our county.
2. Detail where and how much of this new found crime fund will be spent in Wicklow.
3. Guarantee Wicklow’s Garda numbers will not be further depleted by appointing members to this new unit – don’t transfer, recruit and Wicklow Garda numbers.
4. Ramp up recruitment of Garda members.
5. Immediately establish a second Special Criminal Court to deal with these roving robber gangs.

“I called for urgent action to protect our isolated homeowners and elderly people before the outbreak of gang violence in Dublin that resulted in two murders over the last week,” said Cllr Casey.

“The result was silence – there’s nothing new in that from this Government who have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the reality of the ravaging gangs terrorising isolated rural communities and older people in community. For example, most recently, in the past days a fire was set at Kilmacanogue GAA club where a life saving defibrillator was destroyed. This is the second time that the dressing rooms were broken-into and set alight.

“These gangs are using our motorways to zip in and out of Dublin and hit soft targets despite calls for CCTV cameras at motorways junctions to track suspects and the provision of much needed Garda manpower and better resources, high powered vehicles and firepower to match these savage gangs.

“County Wicklow is on the doorstep of these roving robber gangs, but Fine Gael has been constantly behind the curve on law and order issues, and their record has been criticised by the people who are on the front line in fighting crime, the Garda Sergeants and Inspectors Association and Garda Representatives Association – the latter who most recently said that there had been no recruitment to the Special Detective Unit since 2009,” added Cllr Casey.

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