Not the time for Garda cuts

THE discovery of pipe bombs at Haggardstown on Sunday last is clear evidence that the threat to our peace and democracy still exists.

THE discovery of pipe bombs at Haggardstown on Sunday last is clear evidence that the threat to our peace and democracy still exists.

An Garda Siochana and their colleagues in the North, the PSNI - who are still being seriously targeted by paramilitaries from all sides - have been doing excellent work in detecting arms and explosives.

But the news that the number of Garda officers could be cut by 1,000 this year because of a shortfall in the wages budget is not what people want to hear.

A report in the Irish Independent by the paper’s Security Editor Tom Brady, writes that this decision has sent shockwaves through senior garda ranks.

Mr Brady writes that because of E25m euro in government cuts there is only enough money to pay 12,500 of the current 13,417 officers.

Career breaks will be on offer with a lump-sum of €30,000 and a guarantee that the job will be available again after three years.

The break will also allow gardai to take up other employment.

The talks with the Department of Justice are due to get underway next week.

Last year 460 people left An Garda Soichanna and although crime has fallen, violent crime and paramilitary activity is still at a worry and these proposed cuts to the force are a cause for real concern to both officers and the public.