THE Kildare Garda division has the lowest number of Garda per head of population in the State, the latest figures from the State show.
Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy, who has consistently, along with others, raised the question of relatively low Garda numbers, has again expressed “dismay” over the figures and disappointment over recent moves to improve the ratio, which may be partly be caused by the Croke Park agreement.
There are 664.41 people for every Garda deployed in the Kildare division. That compares badly to the national average of 390.80, according to figures from last year’s Census and this year’s Garda numbers.
The figure for the Dublin region is 324.05 and drops to 309.06 in Limerick and 318.19 in Sligo/Leitrim.
The Kildare Garda area has 316 Gardai for a 209,955 population while Limerick has 619 to cater for a just a slightly lower population of 191,306.
The figures may be tempered by the case made by senior Garda that Gardai from other areas work in Kildare from time to time, including co-operation between the Lucan station in Dublin and north east Kildare.
Deputy Murphy said she was disappointed that repeated requests made by her, including the most recent one made along with all seven Kildare TDs, for a meeting with Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to discuss the Garda staffing provision in Kildare have so far met with no success.
fShe said that, “regrettably, repeated requests to discuss the situation directly with the Commissioner have so far been met with a lacklustre response, which is surprising considering the extent of the problem in Kildare.”
_ Henry Bauress