Sinn Féin TD for Waterford Deputy David Cullinane has said proposed changes to policing structures in the state raise serious concerns about the status of policy in the City and County. Deputy Cullinane said he was not against reform but that Waterford should be treated the same as Limerick and Galway.
Deputy Cullinane said the proposed loss of a stand-alone Garda District for Waterford was a real concern as was the ending of geographically based districts in Waterford City, Tramore and Dungarvan. He appealed to Government Representatives to wake up and defend Waterford’s interests.
Deputy Cullinane said: “I am not against reform of policing and achieving efficiencies within An Garda Siochána. However, I have real and genuine fears about how planned state-wide reforms will impact on policing in Waterford. Plans to reduce the number of Garda Divisions from 28 to 19 will see the stand-alone Garda Division in Waterford merge with Kilkenny and Carlow while Limerick and Galway maintain their distinct divisions."
“The plans also proposes to abolish the three policing districts with the Geographical based Superintendents in Waterford City, Dungarvan and Tramore being assigned to other duties. This will mean a further hit to policing in rural areas especially."
“I am concerned that Waterford is again being treated differently to Limerick and Galway. We are seeing this time and again when it comes to capital funding allocation, deficits in health care and the lack of progress on a Technological University for the Southeast."
“There are further fears about where the headquarters of a new Policing District involving Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow will be located. There is no guarantee now or into the future that the headquarters will be based in Waterford."
“The National Planning Framework is ambitious for Waterford, and in policy terms, sets Waterford City out as the capital and economic driver of the region. This high-level objective rings hollow if Government Agencies and Department’s operate in silos oblivious to these objectives."
“Waterford’s Government Oireachtas members need to wake up and spell out when we will see delivery for the city and county. While I recognise progress in recent months in some areas there is still no timeframe for delivery of funding for the North Quays, the Airport, the planned University and dozens of health funding applications. We must demand that Waterford is treated fairly and gets equal treatment with cities and counties of comparable size.”