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Justice, Politics

Fine Gael’s justice plans will protect Tipperary communities – Coonan

Fianna Fáil’s plans to keep Gardaí behind their desks would do nothing to tackle crime in Tipperary

Fine Gael candidate in Tipperary, Noel Coonan, has said that Fine Gael’s justice plan will help to protect Tipperary communities from crime. By comparison, Fianna Fáil’s plans to keep Gardaí stuck behind their desks would do nothing to put a stop to criminals in Tipperary.

“Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going is founded on three steps: more and better jobs; making work pay; and investing in better services. One of the most important of these services is the one provided by our Gardaí in protecting Tipperarycommunities. With the resources created by a stronger economy and increased employment, Fine Gael will continue to increase the numbers of Gardaí protecting people in our communities.


Deputy Coonan continued: “Fine Gael is determined to take the fight to the criminals. We are the party of law and order, the party that reopened Templemore Garda training college, after Fianna Fáil shut it down.  We will not let it close again and we will ensure 600 new recruits annually. We will free up 300 Gardaí from administrative duties by hiring civilians and doubling the Garda reserve to support Gardaí in delivering front line, visible policing.  We secured €46 million funding for 1,700 new vehicles and €205 million for the most comprehensive upgrade of the Garda ICT system since the foundation of the force.  We will ensure a visible, mobile, dynamic policing force to keep communities safe and bring criminals to justice.

“Fianna Fáil candidates love nothing more than to scaremonger on the issue of crime, but the fact is that their plans would do nothing to decrease burglaries in Tipperary. After five years in opposition with no justice plan, they have come up with a half-baked policy on the back of an envelope at the final hour, talking in vague terms about launching a Garda Inspectorate Report on the viability of Garda stations.

“They ignore the fact that the Garda Inspectorate has already recommended enhanced Garda visibility by increasing the time spent out of Garda stations. Their view is that the more stations operating the same services, the more people that are required to cover them and the fewer people that are available for patrol or crime investigation. This is exactly what Fine Gael is prioritising; our policing reform gets our Gardaí out doing what they do best, protecting our communities from crime.

Deputy Coonan continued: “Serious and serial offenders must continue to be caught and imprisoned, and not free to commit crime inTipperary.  Under Fine Gael, the Government has already introduced tougher sentences to keep repeat burglars off the streets.  Operation Thor has led to 550 arrests in three months and reported burglaries are down 33%.  We will go further and introduce a new sentencing policy to end automatic remission and ensure tougher sentences for repeat offenders across a range of categories, including firearms, knife crime and serious assaults.  New bail legislation will allow for refusal of bail for repeat serious offenders and we will increase the use of electronic tagging for those on bail or conditional release.  Fine Gael has also reformed the way our legal services industry works, and established a new court of appeal and a second Special Criminal Court to reduce delays in court proceedings.

“We are the only Party with a Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going so that we can build on the progress already made to ensure safer communities and swifter justice for all people,” concluded Deputy Coonan.

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