Deputy Calleary commented, “It is increasingly clear that this government is actually beginning to believe its own spin. The scale of this disconnection with reality is clear this morning in an Irish Examiner interview with Minister Frances Fitzgerald, where she seeks to play down the issue of rural crime.
“Denying the impact of Garda station closures on soaring crime rates and community decline, she reverts to Alan Shatter’s discredited promises of ‘smart policing’.
“The fact is that since 139 Garda stations were closed by Fine Gael, burglaries and other crimes have soared. People are living in fear in their homes and despair when they hear the Minister for Justice play down the problem and talk about smart policing. They have heard it all before from this government, but they know the reality that they are living.
“Dismantling the community Garda infrastructure in this country was a short sighted and dangerous decision. It saved virtually no money and removed the Gardai from communities across the country. The sooner Fine Gael accepts this mistake, the sooner we can have a proper discussion about how to try and fix it.”