Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and member of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, Alan Farrell, has today (Thursday), called for an increased focus on Justice in rapidly growing areas as more resources become available.
“Since coming into office this Government has made great strides in reforming the Department of Justice, and a number of these measures are particularly relevant to rapidly growing areas. However I feel that we should be planning ahead for further measures that would benefit the people of Dublin Fingal and similarly expanding communities, especially in regard to Garda personnel.
“With the lowest age demographic in the country, and an average age of 32, Fingal will benefit from many of the justice reforms implemented by this Government. For instance, increased investment from the Department of Justice has allowed for an increase in Garda Vetting Personnel from 93 to 176, an 83% rise. With many schools, clubs and childcare facilities in the North County, this investment will benefit such facilities and it is positive news for all growth areas.
“€10 million was secured in Budget 2015 for 400 new Garda vehicles and 200 new Garda recruits who will start their training in Templemore in the New Year. While I am encouraged by this investment, I believe it is of the utmost importance that additional resources are allocated to areas where the population is rapidly expanding. According to the CSO, if internal migration patterns return to the traditional pattern, last seen in the mid-1990s, the population of the greater Dublin area will increase by over 400,000 by 2031. This would mean that over 42 per cent of the population of Ireland would be living in, or around, Dublin. As such, the Garda service in growth areas will face increased demand in the near future and we must begin preparations to cater for this now.
“Huge progress has been made in the Department of Justice and further reform is yet to come. This Government has overseen the establishment of a new independent Garda Authority and a charities regulatory authority, the allocation of an additional €4 million for ICT projects in 2014 and 2015 to modernise Garda systems, and the introduction of citizenship ceremonies to welcome the new Irish.
“It is essential that we continue to implement the reforms necessary to provide the public with the justice system they need and deserve. I intend to continue to engage with the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald TD and with my party colleagues in Government, to ensure the necessity and benefit of identifying growth areas, and resourcing them accordingly, is taken into account when Garda resources are being allocated.