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Ex gardaí join forces to push for more community alliances

June 5th, 2024 7:30 AM

Ex gardaí join forces to push for more community alliances Image
Noel O'Donovan during his time as a garda.

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FORMER garda Noel O’Donovan, running in the Skibbereen area for a Cork County Council seat, has joined with other former gardaí, all now Fine Gael candidates around the country, calling for ‘safer streets and stronger communities’ with greater co-operation between politicians, residents and community stakeholders.

The five Fine Gael candidates said that 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.

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

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 and, in a joint statement, the former gardaí said the partnerships should provide more visible policing and a more united approach to enable all stakeholders, including local councillors, combat criminality and anti-social behaviour, with more co-ordinated investment from government.

‘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,’ said the former garda members.

The new 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,’ they said.

At least seven councillors – up to a maximum of 18 – will be on the new committees. Fine Gael is also hoping to bring in new powers to roll out CCTV in key areas to improve public safety.

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