The slow recruitment of extra gardai to Lettermore and Spiddal Garda Stations has been put down to the lack of candidates who speak Irish fluently.
In responding to a query made by Fianna Fáil councillor Dáithi Ó Cualáin at the Galway County Joint Policing Committee (JPC ) meeting at County Hall on Monday, Superintendent Damien Ó Flannacháin told the chamber that the process of recruiting gardai for the Gaeltacht area was being impeded by candidates with Irish not coming forward.
Superintendent Ó Flannacháin said;”The difficulty is [the lack of] Irish speaking members [applying for the position]. We are constantly looking for members. We want the correct fit for the area.
“Naturally there are number of gardai from there but they don’t necessarily want to go back home [from Dublin] straight away. We need Irish [speaking gardai].”
Cllr Ó Cualáin noted the superintendent’s comments but highlighted that he was concerned whether there were enough gardai to cover the area and questioned could a member of Salthill Garda Station be deployed in the area.
He said; “Would a member from Salthill [Garda Station] not be deployed with Salthill being an Irish speaking [station]? [Connemara] is a big area and there are large number [of gardai] in Carraroe but it is a huge area to cover so I have concerns about it being covered.”