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Aontú Ballymun-Finglas representative, Edward MacManus has slammed the Justice Minister for the 'short-sighted, knee jerk' injection of ten million euro this week arising from the crisis in policing in Dublin when Garda morale and numbers are so poor, calling it a 'smokescreen'.

The 2024 local government candidate said:

"Despite warnings from TD's and the community for months about the state of the Gardai and the growing problems in Dublin City Centre, the Justice Minister knuckled down and denied that anything was wrong on either front until she was forced to undertake embarrassing PR stunts this past week following the harrowing attack on a US tourist in the capital.

She will now announce that 240,000 extra Garda hours, or 20,000 extra Garda shifts will be made available in the Dublin Metropolitan Area, despite the fact that there are no new Gardai being deployed in the city to actually carry out the extra shifts.  

Our Party Leader, Peadar Tóibín TD recently told the Minister recently that Garda morale was on the floor, demonstrated more recently by a GRA ballot in confidence on the Garda Commissioner.  Now, rather than engaging with communities, stakeholders and rank and file Garda in Dublin or injecting real resources, we have this short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction which is more for the press than it is to inspire real change.

The Minister will make the announcement at Templemore when new recruits will graduate, and is still clinging to her mantra that Garda numbers are rising dramatically, despite her coalition colleague, FF's Jim O'Callaghan, recently being quoted in the press clearly saying the numbers of recruits needed this year was simply not going to be met.

This smoke and mirrors approach from the Justice Minister needs to end before we are looking at more serious incidents in the capital."

By Aontú Press | 8 August, 2023

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In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.