CONCERNS have been raised after it’s emerged the number of gardaí serving in Donegal Divisional Drugs Unit has seen a dramatic drop in the last year.
Figures shared to the Donegal News reveal that as of September this year, there were just five garda staff assigned to Donegal Divisional Drugs Unit. This compares with 21 in December, 2021.
The figures were obtained through a parliamentary question asking Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD the number of gardaí employed in each of the divisional drugs units respectively in each of the years from 2015 to date in 2022, in tabular form.
According to the figures, 18 staff were employed in the Donegal unit in December 2020. However, in the years between 2015 and 2019, the number of staff was always below 10.
Councillor and chairman of Donegal Joint Policing Committee, Gerry McMonagle, has described the figures as “worrying”, adding the figures add to mounting reservations he has about the outworkings of the Garda Policing Strategy 2022-2024 and how the new Garda Operating
Model for Donegal will work. Ms McEntee has moved to reassure that the government is committed to ensuring An Garda Síochána has the resources it needs to deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose, policing service, with an unprecedented allocation provided in Budget 2023 of €2.14 billion.