Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairperson of Fine Gaels rural affairs committee, Martin Heydon, has said that the announcement of 600 new Gardaí in Budget 2016 highlights the Government’s commitment to increasing resources for An Garda Síochána.
“Budget 2016 announced the recruitment of an additional 600 Gardaí in addition to the 550 who have already started training since 2014. This Government reopened the Garda College Templemore in 2014 and with this budget allocation we are delivering on our promise to ensure it won’t close again.
“This news comes in addition to the Capital Investment Plan, which announced investments of €875 million over the next six years going towards new Garda vehicles, ICT, refurbishment of Garda stations, a new forensic science laboratory and upgraded courts.
“This funding will ensure that Gardaí have the necessary tools and manpower to tackle the scourge of highly-mobile criminal gangs and to seek to disrupt crime in both rural and urban communities. This week, more than ever we are all conscious of the role of Gardai in our own local community and the risks they take every day to ensure our safety.
“Since 2012, the Government has invested €29 million in new Garda vehicles and 370 new vehicles have come on stream since the start of this year.
“This Budget is a positive one after what has been a very difficult time and it will contribute to a better resourced and better equipped Garda force. The last few budgets have been hard, but they made it possible for Ireland to exit the bailout, reduce our debts, and move into a real recovery.
“The top priority this year is to keep the recovery going in all parts of the country, while providing relief and better services. This Budget is affordable, responsible and consistent with the Government’s plan to eliminate Government borrowing by 2018 and to promote regional economic growth, jobs and future recovery.“