STATEMENT BY THE GARDA REPRESENTATIVE ASSOCIATION (GRA) ON THE
ANNOUNCEMENT BY MINISTER SHATTER OF THE CLOSURE OF A FURTHER 100 GARDA STATIONS
GRA President John Parker responded to the announcement that a further 100 garda stations are to be closed and
28 garda districts are to be amalgamated to form 14.
"Both the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner have stated this is the biggest fundamental
structural change in policing since the foundation of the organisation…and it has been done without proper public consultation. It has been imposed upon the our communities disguising closure
as consolidation; withdrawing gardaí from rural areas and calling it rationalisation.
"The GRA has always believed that the closure of garda stations can only have a negative
impact on the communities that they have served so well. Gardaí are at the heart of every community - and this move will remove many of our members from their communities. We have long contended that the reduction in garda numbers will have a negative effect on the quality
of service that we can provide to the public, and the government policy of station closures will compound this problem.
"It is being called rationalisation - as if it is an efficiency measure - but while the cost savings are
minimal, the service lost to the community will be immeasurable. Fear of crime is palpable in rural communities, and it is the local garda station that provides reassurance to the community and a
deterrent to criminals.
"This scraps the core values of community policing in the areas targeted to lose their stations, and over
time will weaken and eventually sever the strong connections between the community and their local garda. Patrols will be necessarily reduced and a safe breeding ground for future criminals will fill
the void. Gardaí on the frontline will be aware of how policing will be inhibited by the reduction in service; gardai will not be able to deliver the first class service that the public deserve.
"This is a political decision made without a proper risk assessment to underpin it. It has been deemed
necessary because of the reduction in garda strength - and gardaí are being centrally deployed to fulfil the policing plan - but in the real world we fear the closure of stations will be an end to
community policing as we know it for many of the garda districts effected by this decision."
Link to full List of Station Closures / Amalgamations of Districts & Reduced Opening Hours