Shatter stands by garda station closures

Alan Shatter said the closing of 100 rural stations will maximise the operational time available to gardaí

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said garda stations do not act as a deterrent to burglaries and that the 100 stations that are due to close this year will be shut down.

There are 95 stations closing today in what Mr Shatter said is essentially a paper exercise, which recognises the reality that Ireland does not require a garda station network devised in colonial times.

He reiterated that the objective in closing the stations was to maximise the operational time available to gardaí, increasing their mobility and visibility.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, the Minister for Justice said the closure of garda stations is not a cost-saving measure.

The minister said the move was about freeing up members of the force to engage in frontline services, adding that the closures would result in 61,000 additional patrol hours being made available for community policing.

Mr Shatter insisted that Government policies in relation to policing were drafted with humanity.

He also appealed for anyone with information about the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe to come forward.

Det Garda Donohoe, 41, was shot dead during a robbery in Jenkinstown on Friday.

Mr Shatter said the five-man gang was not operating in a vacuum.

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