Thirty gardaí have retired from the force in Mayo within the past 12 months, according to figures released to Mayo Fine Gael TD, John O’Mahony. The vast majority of those who retired were rank and file gardaí who were serving in districts throughout the county, and Deputy O’Mahony has called on the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to ensure that the vacancies at all levels in the force in the county be filled.
Deputy O’Mahony has also learned, following questions tabled in the Dáil, that there are now eight fewer gardaí working in the county compared to 12 months ago – in 2008 the force strength in Mayo was 329 while at the end of November last the figure had dropped to 321. According to Dep O’Mahony, the reduction in numbers serving in the force in the county is a worrying trend and he wants it reversed. “Mayo is a very big county and the gardaí working here are stretched to the limit to see that it’s policed in the manner that they wish it be. However if this trend of a drop in numbers continues into next year that task will become even more difficult than it already is. The retirements of rank and file gardaí in Mayo over the last three years reveals clearly the crisis that is looming for policing in Mayo. There were three retirements in 2007, five in 2008, and 25 so far in 2009, when one considers that there is a ban on recruitment at present it is easy to see why a major crisis is building up for policing in Mayo. The inevitable consequences of this is less community policing in this county as well as gardaí not being replaced in small rural stations. This cannot be allowed to happen and I am calling the Mayo government deputies to take on the Minister on this very important issue.” he said.