Sinn Féin General Election candidate Cllr Seamus Brown has strongly criticised the government for jeopardising the safety of communities by closing 7 Garda Stations across Limerick County in order to save a ‘measly’ €28,000 per annum.

“The stations were closed in 2012 and 2013 as part of the government’s rationalisation programme but it has now been revealed that the closures have only resulted in a cost saving of €4,000 per annum for each station,” he said.

The information was contained in a response to a Parliamentary Question, submitted by Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Pádraig MacLochlainn TD

Councillor Browne who said; “It is staggering that the government would jeopardise the safety and well being of communities, across County Limerick, in an effort to save €28,000 a year.

“I find it infuriating that the government would cut Garda resources in such a viscous manner but even those who consider themselves to be fiscally conservative would have a hard time justifying this one.

“It is clear that misguided decisions to close Garda stations in order to make small savings to the exchequer merely increase the opportunity for crimin-al activity and add to the uncertainty and fear that the citizens in this state are already experiencing after seven years of austerity.

“The Minister says that the purpose of the closures was not to make cost-sav-ings but rather to facilitate the more efficient and effective deployment of resources. How can this government claim that they using policing resources more effectively and efficiently when comm-unities across this constit-uency feel more vulnerable than ever and rural crime continues to rise? 

“We have seen stations closed in Shanagolden, Doon, Galbally, Kilfinane, Kilmeedy and Tournafulla. Town and villages in East Limerick have been part-icularly hit by the closures of their Garda stations.

“I just can’t see how government TDs for this constituency can stand over such decisions in order to save a few thous-and euro.

“The people of this constit-uency deserve first class public services. This means a fully resourced policing service and it means keeping our Garda stations open.

“We need to get Garda numbers back over 14,000. That must be a priority in the forthcoming budget.”