Drogheda is on course to become Ireland’s next city and continues to grow much faster than Waterford and other large urban centres, yet it has been neglected by successive Governments. Photo: Anthony Murphy.
Drogheda’s Garda numbers do not reflect the size of Ireland’s sixth largest urban centre, according to Anna McKenna, Secretary of the Drogheda City Status Group and Fianna Fáil’s Drogheda Urban local election candidate Anthony Moore.
In a joint statement, they pointed out that when assessing the sufficiency of Garda numbers in Drogheda, it is usual to draw comparisons with Dundalk. However, they maintain that this is an incorrect comparator, because Dundalk-Blackrock, with a population of 39,004 in the 2016 census, is much smaller than Drogheda which has a population of 52,828 including the local environs of Laytown, Bettystown and Mornington.
“It’s clear from this that the real comparator is actually with Waterford which has a population of 53,504 – similar to Drogheda and its immediate hinterland in Laytown, Bettystown and Mornington,” said Anthony.
According to Garda statistics secured by Moore, as of the 31st March, 2019, Waterford, including Ferrybank, had 172 Gardai, 34 sergeants, 5 inspectors, 1 superintendent and chief superintendent, a total of 213 Officers.
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In contrast Drogheda and Laytown only had 129 Officers, comprised of 107 Gardai, 17 sergeants, 3 inspectors, and 1 superintendent and chief superintendent, while Dundalk-Blackrock, a smaller town has 154 Officers comprised of 127 Gardai, 21 Sergeants, 5 Inspectors and one superintendent.
According to Moore “Comparing our Garda numbers with Dundalk lets the Government off the hook, because Dundalk is much smaller than Drogheda population-wise. In future, it is important that we focus on places like Waterford as comparators when seeking more Garda resources for Drogheda.”
“These statistics clearly show that Waterford, despite having a similar population to Drogheda, has nearly double the number of Gardaí. This confirms the extent to which Drogheda’s Gardai are under-resourced and the scale of the investment required to get the numbers we need to police our area properly.
Drogheda is on course to become Ireland’s next city and continues to grow much faster than Waterford and other large urban centres, yet it has been neglected by successive Governments,” concluded Anna McKenna.