Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Garda murder 'not linked to cuts'

Alan Shatter insisted the murder was nothing to do with the austerity measures being implemented within the force

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has rejected suggestions that the murder of Garda Adrian Donohoe is in any way linked to cutbacks and reforms in the force.

Reacting to the killing, rank-and-file Garda leader PJ Stone said younger officers were living in "fear and trepidation" that they are not getting the backing needed to do their job.

More than 60% of the force had less than 10 years' service and have never before experienced a colleague being gunned down in cold blood, the general secretary of the Garda Representative Association warned.

"I am extremely concerned that the young men and women (in the force) out there are in fear and trepidation that they are not getting the support that is required to continue to provide a first class policing service," he said.

"We see the force being dismantled, the minister and the (Garda) commissioner (Martin Callinan) reassuring the public that there is adequate resources.

"When are they going to reassure members of the Garda Siochana who are expected to stand up - the thin blue line - and to continue and provide the type of heroic cover that has been given in this instance?"

But Mr Shatter insisted the murder was nothing to do with the austerity measures being implemented within the force.

"I think it is unfortunate that PJ Stone, in the aftermath of such a horrific murder, would make a comment like that," he said.

"I think any issue relating to reforms that are taking place within the Garda Siochana is an issue to be addressed on another day.

"He well knows and he should know that the murder of Adrian Donohoe is nothing to do with issues of resources."

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