An Garda Síochána have been left €21 million short on their budget this year following an excessive overspend on the State visits by Queen Elizabeth and US President Barack Obama.
Answering questions from Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Dara Calleary in the Dáil today, Justice Minister Alan Shatter confirmed that the visits cost the Gardaí €36 million. It was confirmed today that €15 million is covered by the supplementary estimates, leaving a further €21 million that is not yet accounted for.
Deputy Calleary has expressed concern about how €21 million will be found within An Garda Síochána to cover this overrun.
“Minister Shatter has pointed to the ‘efficiencies’ required within the Gardaí in order to meet its allocated budget. Efficiencies in this instance can only mean cutbacks,” said Deputy Calleary. “I am concerned that some Garda operations, like Operation Freeflow in Dublin, may have to be cancelled or curtailed to achieve these ‘efficiencies’.