In recent days the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy McDowell, made a series of major announcements. He promised 2,000 extra Garda, two new prisons and a land bridge, a gun amnesty and mandatory sentences for gun offences. I am not sure what tablets the Minister was taking but there was a clear commitment in the programme for Government to the appointment of 2,000 Garda, which was then abandoned and announced as such by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, partly on the basis of cost and partly on the basis that there was not a manpower problem in dealing with crime here.
Is it not patently obvious that the credibility of the Government on matters of crime is in shreds and that the announcements made by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, apparently off the top of his head, have no basis in terms of Government decision? Has the Government approved money for two extra prisons and a land bridge? When will legislation on gun amnesties be published? Why did the Minister not consider it appropriate to take measures on gun amnesties when certain personnel roamed the streets in Limerick a few months ago, murdering and maiming each other? Why did the Minister not take gun offences seriously at that time? Why has he made seven pronouncements here about evidence he has of criminal gangs and organised crime? Why has he not sent in the CAB and why has the Government not provided resources to ensure prosecutions can be brought in these cases and that known criminals, and evidence known to the Minister and the Taoiseach, can be brought before the courts, punished and put out of business?
Does the Taoiseach propose to bring in a Supplementary Estimate or is this just a whim of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, like some summertime Santa Claus, that he can appeal to the Minister for Finance, simply because he got an extra €1 billion in his resources from receipts from offshore accounts? Has the Government approved the extra gardaí and prison spaces and the finance for them? When will we see the legislation in respect of a gun amnesty? Why does the Minister not send in the Criminal Assets Bureau and pursue prosecutions in regard to organised crime about which he has evidence?