Deputy Fergus O'Dowd at the woefully inadequate Garda station in Laytown.
Deputy Fergus O’Dowd has condemned the appalling fatal shooting in East Meath earlier this week and called on the public to assist the Gardaí in every possible way in their tireless efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Gardaí were actually patrolling in the immediate area where this crime occurred on the night in question” O’Dowd said but added that the Gardaí cannot be everywhere all of the time.
“With the increasing population in East Meath and the significant increase in residential development applications it is now essential that consolidation of the existing communities must be given top priority before any more untrammelled development.
“The protection of existing residents must now come first and foremost and we absolutely need a new Garda Station in the Laytown-Bettystown area.
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“This must be staffed by a significantly increased number of Gardaí to assist the complement of 18 full time Gardaí in East Meath.
“The Gardaí and the public are absolutely entitled to a properly resourced Garda Station in East Meath with significant Garda Presence and appropriate public offices and interview rooms etc.
O’Dowd added “Chief Superintendent Mangan has assured me that Drogheda Gardaí regularly assist East Meath Gardaí upon request and work closely on incidents of serious crime.
“But because of the displacement of criminal activity from Drogheda to areas like East Meath and South Louth we need significantly more Gardaí.
“While this is a matter for the Garda Commissioner, I have written to him recently about my concerns including the need for a new Garda Station in East Meath and I will continue to press him and the Minister for Justice on this most urgent matter.
“We need an increase in mobile patrols by both the Armed Response Unit and uniformed Garda in East Meath. The increase in Garda Activity in the Drogheda area has been very successful to date and came as a direct result of 25 additional Gardai assigned to the Drogheda station.
“I have also been in direct contact with Minister Charlie Flanagan and Commissioner Harris in relation to the continuation of existing resources to Drogheda Gardaí and a continuation of their budget at a crucial time when they are undoubtedly putting significant pressure on criminals in our area.”