Mayo Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary has raised the serious problem with the upsurge in the number of burglaries which are taking place in Mayo over the past two months which has caused “genuine fear across the county”. The deputy, who raised the matter in the Dáil on Tuesday, has called on the Minster for Justice, Alan Shatter, to engage with the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, “immediately” in relation to the increase in numbers of robberies across the region.
In the Dáil on Tuesday the deputy said: “At least four incidents have been brought to my attention in recent weeks. People were in their houses and the burglars either came in through the front and took stuff from the front of the house or through the back door when the residents were in the front of the house. As the minister can imagine, this situation is causing grave concern throughout County Mayo. There have also been a number of robberies of businesses.”
Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser, the deputy said that the announcement this week by the Garda Commissioner that there are 25 organised criminal gangs operating in the State, with gangs operating in the west of Ireland in the neighbouring counties of Galway and Sligo, is of concern. The deputy commended the work of Operation Aimsir, which runs in the in the western region, as part of national Operation Fiacla, which is “providing some relief” in curbing criminal activity.
The Fianna Fáil deputy also welcomed the Government’s commitment to provide €3 million in funding for 170 new Garda vehicles. The deputy said that he hopes that some of these vehicles are deployed west.
‘Garda management responding effectively’
In response to Deputy Calleary’s question in the Dáil the Minister for Justice replied: “With regard to the situation in Mayo, I am aware of reports of a number of recent burglaries and suggestions that these incidents appear to be linked. This is precisely the type of scenario which Operation Fiacla is designed to tackle and I have every confidence that Garda management is responding effectively. While the incidence of crime is generally lower in rural than in urban areas, I am conscious of the deep distress which burglary and similar crimes can cause to householders in rural areas and the broader impact it can have in terms of fear of crime in our communities.
I am confident that Garda efforts co-ordinated under Operation Fiacla are making the desired impact and this should be reflected in forthcoming crime statistics. I hope it will also be reflected in the Mayo area in dealing with the difficulties Deputy Calleary described.”
The Minister added: “It is the Government's intention to ensure that front-line services are maintained at the highest level possible through the most efficient use of resources. The commissioner has my full support in this regard and I have every confidence that he and every member of the Garda Síochána will continue to deliver an effective police service in both rural and urban areas.”
Locally, Deputy Callleary said that Mayo Fianna Fáil councillors will keep the issue on the table and will raise it with Mayo County Council.