TD to raise garda Div change at policing committee

Fianna Fáil's Brendan Smith, will raise his concerns over proposals to amalgamate the Cavan-Monaghan Garda Division with Louth at the next meeting of the Cavan Joint Policing Committee.

Days after describing the move as “crazy stuff” in the Dáil, the Cavan-Monaghan TD doubled down on his opposition to the change when stating to the Celt: “I believe that the new structures are not adequate and will not be sufficiently responsive to meet the policing needs of communities in areas such as Cavan/Monaghan. Policing should be brought as close as possible to local communities.”

Deputy Smith raised “this very important issue” in the Dáil with An Taoiseach when addressing An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee.

He asked for a report on the National Risk Assessment 2023, and the top risks facing Ireland.

Deputy Smith explained that, at present, the Chief Superintendent of the Cavan Monaghan Garda Division is based in Monaghan, but that headquarters is now being transferred to Drogheda. “It is not far from this Chamber to Drogheda, but it is a long way from this Chamber to the west of Cavan, Blacklion or Dowra.

“There is a long land border between Louth, Cavan and Monaghan. I do not know who came up with the proposal but the Minister and Department have always given the answer that it is a matter for Garda operational decision-makers.

“However, we have to consider what worked in the past and was successful during a very difficult era. We need local decision-making. A chief superintendent in Drogheda, on the outskirts of Dublin, will not be familiar with communities in the far end of west Cavan or the north of Monaghan.”

Allied to the loss of Dún Uí Neill barracks, Deputy Smith asked the Government to “revisit” the matter.

The Taoiseach responded: “It is something that, ultimately, is a matter for the Garda Commissioner, but I can certainly make sure that he and the Minister are made aware of the Deputy's views."