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Crime is far from just a problem in Dublin, Taoiseach told

The tentacles of crime are digging deep into every rural community in the county – despite the predominance of Dublin’s issues on the national airwaves and papers.

That’s what Galway East Deputy Seán Canney told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on his visit west recently – only, in his view, he didn’t get a satisfactory response.

But the Independent  TD did warn the Fine Gael leader that any attempt to remove individual Gardaí from rural stations in order to ‘bolster’ units in towns or Galway city would be firmly resisted.

“It’s crazy what is going on at the moment. You would swear that crime is just a Dublin thing following the high-profile attack on the unfortunate American tourist,” he said.

“And while that is very regrettable and should never have happened, it should not detract from the fact that there are rural break-in across North Galway on a daily basis.

“The Garda hierarchy may not be aware that we have a tourist industry in the West of Ireland and the visitors here need to be protected too,” added Deputy Canney.

He had that he had evidence of ten homes being burgled in the North Galway area alone over the past year and a half.

On his Headford visit, Mr Varadkar conceded that crime occurs in both urban and rural settings, and he acknowledged that there was no community immune from a certain level of crime.

The Taoiseach said that Ireland’s crime levels were lower than other European countries, but he agreed that this was of little comfort to those who have been the victims or who live in fear of criminality.

“We are investing in communities to make sure that they are stronger and safer which helps to prevent crime in the first place,” said the Taoiseach.

“The other thing we are doing is increasing the resources of our justice system, so we are appointing more judges and have a bigger Garda presence than ever before and investing in their equipment and their vehicles and IT systems.

“We all know the benefits of that but making it viable can be difficult where there are small populations, but it is definitely something that we are committed to,” he added.

But a sceptical Deputy Canney responded: “Tell that to the victims of rural crime in rural parts of East Galway who feel vulnerable in their own homes and particularly coming into the winter months.

“Because of what happened in Dublin, which is tragic in itself, the focus is now on Dublin and rural areas are about to suffer as a result.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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