Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Law Enforcement.


asked the Minister for Justice if he is satisfied with the level of law enforcement in the area of Churchtown, Dublin 14, with particular reference to vandalism and related offences.


asked the Minister for Justice if he is satisfied with the level of law enforcement in the Dundrum area of County Dublin.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22 and 23 together.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Churchtown and Dundrum areas, which are served by the Rathfarnham and Dundrum Garda stations, are receiving constant attention and that every effort is being made to curb vandalism and related offences.

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to a parliamentary question on 1 June 1982 concerning the policing needs of the areas in question.

I would like the Minister to accept from me — and I believe constituency colleagues that I see here would agree — that the inhabitants of these areas accept and are grateful for the fact that the Garda Síochána are making the absolute maximum effort which their resources permit. This is accepted and acknowledged gratefully. Would the Minister not agree that to the extent that there are certain districts in both these parishes in which lawlessness and vandalism and general pestilential conditions for the inhabitants is the order of the day, those resources simply are not enough? In particular, I am informed, at night the Dundrum area has only one squad vehicle at its disposal.

The Deputy is aware that I have found a situation over the last three months where there was not adequate manpower available to the Garda Commissioner to drive even a patrol car or to join in a foot patrol on the streets. That was the responsibility of the Deputy's colleague, the then Minister for Justice, who failed miserably in that area and abandoned all his responsibilities. The Deputy is today displaying cynicism and engaging in a political exercise.

This is all Stone Age stuff. This is what has us where we are. Does the Minister think I would be ashamed to admit it if my Government had been behind-hand? All I want to inquire from the Minister is——

The Deputy will not intimidate me either.


I have leaned over backwards to acknowledge on behalf of the people in the area that the Garda are doing their level best. I admit that, but what I would like the Minister to say is, is it the case that one of the reasons for manpower shortage in connection with the driving and manning of patrol cars is attributable at the moment to the ruthless cutback on overtime?

It is attributable to the fact that the Deputy's colleague, when Minister for Justice, and his Government refused to recruit adequate numbers of gardaí.

That is what has us where we are.

That is correct. I am glad the Deputy realises that.

A final Supplementary Question from Deputy Shatter.

Could I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that when the previous Fianna Fáil Government came into office——

Would the Deputy please ask a question?

—— there were 60 gardaí stationed in Rathfarnham Garda Station and at the end of 1981 there were 61 gardaí attached to that station and would the Minister acknowledge that Rathfarnham Garda Station is grossly undermanned? In the light of the fact that in 1977 there were 48 gardaí attached to the Dundrum Garda Station and in 1981 there were still 48 gardaí attached to that station, would the Minister also acknowledge that Dundrum Garda Station is grossly undermanned? Consequent on the enormous increase in crime figures for both Rathfarnham and Dundrum areas, would the Minister now acknowledge that there is a need for an additional Garda station to service those areas and for additional manpower?

Because of previous experience with Deputy Shatter, I cannot rely on his information.

On a point of order——

That is a disgraceful thing to say to someone who is trying to do the Taoiseach's job and not being thanked for it.

On a point of order, the statistics which I have just given to the Minister——

I cannot rely on them.

—— arise out of a written reply to a question I put to the Minister on 22 June 1982. Would the Minister accept, therefore, that those statistics are reliable and answer the question I put to him?

I will not.

No, the Minister will not.

The remaining Questions will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.

On a point of order, in view of the serious level of unemployment and the threat to further jobs in south Dublin, I wish to raise on the Adjournment the question of the inability of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs to meet the requirements for telephone and telex services for new investors in industrial development, with the resultant loss of countless jobs, with particular reference to the Sandyford industrial estate?

The Deputy will not get them to confess.

On the Order of Business ——

Not on the Order of Business, I have given permission to Deputy Taylor to ask a Private Notice Question.

I wish to give notice of a question on the Adjournment.

Certainly, Deputy.

I want to give notice of my intention to raise on the Adjournment the matter of the report in today's newspaper of a court action involving an allegation that the State transport monopoly, CIE, have attempted to interfere with the publication by the Irish Management Institute of a book on Irish transport policy by a university economist. Please allow me to say that in the event of my being given leave to raise this, I will not be intending any comments on an allegation which clearly is sub judice but merely aiming to extract from the Minister for Transport, if I can, an undertaking to investigate this matter independently.

The Chair will communicate with the Deputy in the matter.

In the light of the statement made by the Minister for Justice on 13 May of this year that the District Court clerks dispute had terminated, I wish to raise on the Adjournment the continuance of this dispute and the difficulties being experienced by litigants, particularly in the area of family law, seeking to use our courts.

The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

For the fourth time, could I raise on the Adjournment the question of the closure of the Ardmore Studios in view of the revelation published in yesterday's Evening Herald. Some clear undertaking from the Minister for Energy on the subject is urgently required.

The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Could I add my weight to the request of Deputy Andrews in regard to an Adjournment debate on the question of telephones in the Sandyford industrial estate?

I wish to add my weight to that request, if it does not militate against my own request.

The Chair will get in touch with Deputy Kelly, and with Deputies Shatter and Brennan as well. Are there any other Deputies from that constituency?