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Former Gardaí running for elections back plans for safer streets & stronger communities  

26th May 2024 - Fine Gael Press Office

Former Garda members contesting the local elections want safer streets and stronger communities with greater co-operation between politicians, residents and community stakeholders.

The five Fine Gael candidates said Local Community Safety Partnerships, which will be established across the country, will provide a more effective response to tackling anti-social behaviour and violence in our towns and cities.

Cllr Seán Gilliland (Ballybay -Clones), former councillor Noel O’Donovan (Skibbereen-West Cork), JP Durkan (Dún Laoghaire), Robert McConn (Roscommon) are former garda members and are contesting the local elections for Fine Gael. Ruairí Keyes, a former garda reserve, is running for the party in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

The five candidates strongly support Fine Gael’s plans for greater co-operation between communities and key stakeholders across the country with the establishment of Local Community Safety Partnerships.

Both Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Taoiseach Simon Harris, during his time in the justice department, have played leading roles in the new initiatives.

In a joint statement the five Fine Gael candidates said: “Local Community Safety Partnerships, established under the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill 2023, have already been set up successfully and are operating in Dublin’s North Inner City and Longford.

“Community safety is at the heart of Government’s plan to ensure more visible policing and a more united approach will enable all stakeholders, including local councillors, to combat criminality and anti-social behaviour, with more coordinated investment from Government which is so positive.

“Residents, community representatives—including youth, new communities, and members of the voluntary sector—along with business and education leaders, and representatives from relevant public services such as the HSE, Tusla, Gardaí, the local authority, and local councillors, are all included in the partnerships.

“Resident and community group representation is so important as they are the people who know best the needs of their areas and the issues of concern, and they will also be involved in developing plans to prioritise actions and responses as needed,” the former garda members stressed.

The Local Community Safety Partnerships will replace local authorities Joint Policing Committees.

Nobody knows a community better than the people who live and work there, and this new collaborative approach will ensure that we can tackle issues of safety and concern that go beyond the Gardaí.

“Councillors are going to be integral part of each partnership with at least seven councillors and a maximum of 18 councillors as members.

“Each of us has experience as a serving garda and garda reserve member in our respective communities. The perspectives that we can bring to the partnerships, if elected on June 7th, would play an important role in devising interventions and instilling confidence in residents and community groups.

“Ultimately, this approach is all about making our streets safer and better places to work, live and socialise as well as combatting crime and anti-social behaviour.

“In addition to establishing Community Safety Partnerships, Fine Gael in Government are implementing new powers to roll out CCTV in key areas to improve public safety.

“The party is also supporting the Gardaí to roll out a nationwide text alert initiative to allow for a new and innovative way to report issues directly to An Garda Síochána.

“Fine Gael will always stand for law and order, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with An Garda Síochána and the families who support them.

“As local representatives, we are committed to working with families and communities to combat crime and the challenges of anti-social behaviour,” the five candidates concluded.

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