« BackNumber of Garda vehicles in Kerry at its lowest in five years

The number of Garda vehicles in Kerry is at its lowest level in five years.

New figures from the Department of Justice show that at the end of September this year, there were 38 Garda vehicles operating in Kerry.

The information comes as the Kerry Garda Division awaits the rollout of new garda cars which are to be provided nationwide before the end of the year.

Garda - Yaris
At the end of 2009, gardai in the Kerry Division had a total of 52 vehicles at their disposal.

Figures released by the Minister for Justice to Kerry South TD Michael Healy-Rae show that there has been a drop of 14 garda vehicles in Kerry in the period since then.

There has been criticism of the lack of garda patrol cars in rural areas in the context of the closure of dozens of small rural stations.

Last week however, Minister Alan Shatter announced plans for the rollout of 305 new cars for garda divisions around the country.

€5 million is being spent on new Fords and Hyundais over the next two months while another €4 million will be invested in new vehicles in the first half of next year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said the allocation of the new vehicles to the divisions countrywide was a matter for garda management.

Garda headquarters said that no decision has yet been taken on how many new garda cars will be provided in Kerry, adding that a decision was likely in the next few weeks.