Tánaiste says cutbacks had "debilitating impact" on Garda services

Garda superintendents have called for improved IT systems to help address some of the issues facing the force

Tánaiste says cutbacks had "debilitating impact" on Garda services

Frances Fitzgerald. Picture by Niall Carson PA Archive/PA Images

The Justice Minister says the cutbacks to An Garda Síochana had a debilitating effect on the force.

The Association of Garda Superintendents held its annual conference in Naas today.

Frances Fitzgerald's comments came after the superintendents called for improved IT systems to help address some of the issues facing the force.

Minister Fitzgerald insisted that the Government are investing in An Garda Siochana - and said she understands the difficulties they've faced.

"I do believe that the cutbacks that An Garda Síochana experienced over a number of years had a very debilitating impact on the services of [the force].

"The investment in IT [is] absolutely essential, both at a national level and an international level to fight terrorism."

Speaking to delegates at the conference, the Tánaiste also addressed the recent controversy over incorrectly issued court summonses and major discrepancies in breath test data.

She said: "I don’t need to tell you, as managers in An Garda Síochána, that supervisors and managers are responsible for what goes on on their watch.

"We need to find out what happened, why it happened, and make sure it never happens again. As Superintendents, you have a clear role to play in this."