315. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied with the operational status of a Garda station (details supplied). [27561/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions 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.
The Garda members assigned to Douglas Garda Station as of 31 May 2019, the latest date for which figures are available, are as follows:

Douglas Station Inspector Sergeant Garda
Total 1 3 17

These figures have been subject to fluctuation due to the absence of members on maternity leave, promotions and retirements, and have led to the temporary curtailment of opening hours at the station as the working members are deployed to outdoor operational duties to service the needs of the community. The nearby Togher Garda Station is open to the public 24 hours a day.
I am informed by the Garda Commissioner that the roll out of the Cork City Divisional Community Policing Model, which is currently being implemented as part of the Divisional Policing Model, will result in the allocation of four new Community Gardaí into Douglas station, with those members being deployed full-time on Community Policing Duties.
The Deputy will be aware that, as part of the ongoing reform programme, there is an ongoing civilianisation process in An Garda Síochána which will see an increase in overall Garda Staff numbers to 4,000 by 2021. The Garda Commissioner has indicated that the allocation of additional Garda staff will facilitate the continuing redeployment of Gardaí to operational policing duties. I am informed by the Commissioner that this may facilitate an increase in the opening hours of Douglas Garda Station which is an operational matter for An Garda Síochána.