South Tipperary/ West Waterford TD Mattie McGrath has branded as disgraceful the Government’s decision to cut the Community Alert Programme by 30% and has stated that the Government has no interest in effective policing and Community safety.
“This is an absolutely outrageous and disgraceful attack and goes to show that the Government must clearly have no interest in effective policing and the safety of its elderly and isolated citizens if they lump this massive cut on top of their plans to close local Garda Stations.”
“Just yesterday I was stressing the importance of the role of the Local Garda and the work that they do with Community Alert groups. At a time where robberies are happening on a daily basis and rural isolation is at an all time high, it is just outrageous that this Government could approve such a cut to this vital programme.” Said Deputy McGrath
Deputy McGrath who is a former board member of Muintir na Tíre and lifelong member of Community Alert has said that he is totally dismayed by this decision.
“I know first hand the fantastic work that is carried out by Community Alert groups and the National Board of Muintir na Tíre. They run vitally important programmes such as Good Morning South Tipperary Listening Service and have excellent volunteers and paid staff who work exceptionally hard to ensure that isolated and elderly people feel safe and protected in their homes.”
“I am outraged that the direct consequence of this cut will be immediate job losses in Tipperary as Muintir na Tíre will be unable to continue to run all of their programmes and their Head Office is based in Tipperary Town. For such a small saving of less than €70,000 this cut just does not make sense. Community Alert Groups should be supported especially in light of the Government’s plans to close rural Garda Stations. They give exceptional value for money as they work on a voluntary basis to ensure that isolated citizens are safe and healthy in their homes.”
“If we cut what little funding these groups get, I am at a loss to know who will pick up the pieces and ensure that our elderly citizens are protected and safe in their homes so I am pleading with the Government to reverse this decision immediately.” concluded McGrath.