Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls for clarity over Garda patrol car shortage in Donegal

Pringle calls for clarity over Garda patrol car shortage in Donegal

Thomas Pringle – 28 Jan 2020


Independent general election candidate Thomas Pringle says there is a Garda patrol car shortage in Donegal and says “it is reaching a point where Gardaí might have to resort to using personal cars on duty”.

Speaking on the issue Pringle says “there’s a crisis developing in the availability of patrol cars for the Gardaí force in Donegal. For the past year there has been no patrol car in Carrick and for the past few months there’s been no car in Killybegs. Gardaí are resorted to borrowing a car from The Glenties for call outs. In the meantime there are two patrol cars in Ardara when one could be used elsewhere.

“Donegal is down three patrol cars since 2018 according to the Minister for Justice’s figures however it is unclear if recent shortages are part of that figure. I do know from the Minister’s reply that Buncrana is down one car from 2018 while Milford is down 3 cars since 2018.

“The Minister also confirmed to me last November that 12 vehicles were due to be allocated in the near future to the North West Region in which Donegal is located. However, there has been no sign of these cars and no indication as to how many will be provided for Donegal garda stations.

“It appears that the distribution of patrol cars and vans remains uneven across the county and does not address current demand. This is unacceptable given the fact that there has been calls for more on-the-ground policing by the Garda Commissioner especially in the context of Brexit and cross-border crime.

“I have been in touch with Garda headquarters seeking clarity on the situation and am due a response shortly. I have asked if any patrol cars are ready to be deployed to Donegal Division.

“There has been a complete failure to address Garda resources in Co. Donegal and it has become too costly to repair Garda cars as and when they need to. If this trend continues how will towns and villages across Donegal be patrolled effectively?

“I would hate to see things progress the way the are to the point where Gardaí resort to using their own personal cars on patrol duty. With all the promises and commitments to reform policing in this country Donegal certainly is not seeing the benefit. The closure of Garda Stations seems to be the legacy left behind by Fine Gael after being in power for nine years. I certainly don’t think policing in Donegal could afford one more year of them in Government” concludes Pringle.