The Dáil has been told that some Garda Districts in the Tipperary Division are badly understaffed.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath raised particular concerns about the Clonmel District in the wake of the recent public meeting in Monroe to highlight fear in the community over roving gangs.
He was told that at the end of August there were 399 Garda personnel assigned to the Tipperary Division. 76 of these were in the Clonmel District which covers five Garda stations.
Deputy McGrath expressed his dissatisfaction that his query was answered by the Education Minister on behalf of Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
He also said that saying policing is a matter for the Garda Commissioner nationally and the Chief Superintendent in the Tipp Division is not acceptable as the buck has to stop with the Minister.
“I think this is a shocking reply and the Minister for justice needs to take heed. She’s accountable to this House and I’m sick and tired of Ministers coming in here and saying ‘the Garda Commissioner, the head of the HSE’ all these people. They’re not elected, they’re not accountable to the people.”
“We’re supposed to have a government here. This is shocking and you can read out all the figures you like – masking those figures – what about retirements, what about people that are out sick, what about people that are on other duties and court duty is taking up an enormous amount of time.”