The 30 new Gardaí who started work in Louth today, 25 of them in Drogheda, pictured with Superintendent Andrew Watters and Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan.
Twenty five new Garda recruits, the largest ever allocation by far, arrived in Drogheda today to take up duties on the streets and housing estates of the town.
The 25 new Gardaí were among a group of 30 allocated to the County Louth Division of An Garda Síochana by Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, and Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan TD.
Three of the group will be based in Dundalk and two in Ardee.
Superintendent Andrew Watters told Drogheda Life this morning that the new personnel would be mainly on foot patrols walking the beat both in the town centre streets but also in community units in the various suburban areas.
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He said the increase in Garda numbers in the town would be a big boost for the people of Drogheda and a major step in the battle against crime in the area.
He said that it was important to note that, unlike the 16 Garda recruits brought in over Christmas the members of this latest allocation will be in Drogheda on a permanent basis.
Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan said that this latest addition to the force in Drogheda would provide a welcome step-up in the fight against crime gangs operating in Drogheda.
“It’s absolutely brilliant” he said, “the latest addition to the force in Drogheda plus five of the 16 Garda brought in over Christmas who remained in Drogheda means that we now have 30 more than we did six months ago.”
He added that another benefit of this extra influx is that it will free up other more senior officers from other duties to focus on the fight against criminality.
In a statement released over the weekend local TD Fergus O’Dowd said “These new recruits will be warmly welcomed to Drogheda and will provide a significant boost in the fight against the criminality that we have experienced in Drogheda over recent times.”
“I’m proud of my town and I firmly believe that these new recruits will help create a more confident environment for all of our residents, recent scaremongering has caused unnecessary fear in a town that is widely known to be very safe.”
O’Dowd added “Having recently met in Drogheda with the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, and Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan TD, I believe the people of Drogheda have been listened to and I look forward to meeting the new recruits.”
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams also welcomed the decision of the Garda Commissioner to allocate the 25 new Gardaí recruits to Drogheda which he said adds to the frontline services so urgently needed to respond to respond to the ongoing drug related crimes in the County.
“The significant and ongoing escalation in violence and intimidation by drug gangs demands a robust response from adequately resourced Garda services in Louth” Adams said.
“I therefore welcome the announcement of additional Garda. However, the drug crisis and the associated violence it brings from gangs extends beyond Drogheda.
“In order to tackle the crisis effectively it needs to be adequately resourced in a holistic way. It must include support services for drug addiction and mental health services.
“In recent months my colleagues on Louth County Council and I have dealt with a number of families in the north Louth area that have been the victims of threats and attacks from these drug gangs.
We have also been working closely with the Louth Garda Division who have bluntly told us that Louth needs more Gardaì and support services.
I have recently urged An Taoiseach to commit to providing a significant increase in additional Gardaí resources from the upcoming budget. These Additional resources must be allocated fairly across the constituency.”