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333. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to increase the number of Garda Síochána in the Drogheda, Dundalk and north County Louth area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6882/16]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and Districts and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that on the 29 February 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 285 members assigned to Louth Garda Division. The table attached sets out the distribution of these Gardaí throughout that Division.
I am further informed that the work of local Gardaí in the Louth Division is augmented by a number of Garda national units which are assisting with covert and overt operations targeting prolific criminals and dissidents who reside within and outside this jurisdiction. Furthermore there is ongoing liaison between An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland under the auspices of an agreed Cross-Border Policing Strategy to continue the excellent levels of cooperation between both police services in addressing crime and terrorist activities in all its manifestations.
As the Deputy will appreciate it is vital that An Garda Síochána is renewed in order to ensure that it has the capacity to provide effective and visible policing throughout the country. With this objective in mind, there have been seven intakes of Garda Trainees to the Garda College since it was reopened in September 2014 giving a total intake of 700. A further 450 will be taken in this year. So far 395 of the new Garda Trainees have attested as members of An Garda Síochána and have been assigned to mainstream uniform duties in communities nationwide. The Garda Commissioner has informed me that 18 of these newly attested members have been assigned to the Louth Division. I am assured by the Commissioner that the needs of all Garda Divisions are fully considered when determining the allocation of newly attested Gardaí.
Louth Garda Division 29 February 2016

District Station
Gardaí
ARDEE
26
CASTLEBELLINGHAM
2
COLLON
5
LOUTH
2
ARDEE


TOTAL
35
CLOUGHERHEAD
3
DROGHEDA
95
DUNLEER
6
DROGHEDA

TOTAL
104
BLACKROCK
3
CARLINGFORD
6
DRUMAD
8
DUNDALK
121
HACKBALLSCROSS
4
OMEATH
4
TOTAL
146
DUNDALK




LOUTH TOTAL
285
Question No. 334 answered with Question No. 324.