So far this year, 123 Garda cars have been taken out of service but only 7 new ones purchased.
Commenting, Deputy O’Brien said, “The figures revealed by Deputy Shatter today are shocking. They show the Gardai operating with 122 fewer cars than they had as recently as two years ago.
“Furthermore, the rate at which Garda cars are being taken off the road is increasing, while fewer of them are being replaced. Some 47 Garda vehicles were withdrawn from service in 2009, 124 in 2010 and 123 to date in 2011. During the same period, 165 new vehicles were purchased in 2010 and a further 7 vehicles have been purchased to date this year.
“These figures show how government cutbacks are hitting the frontline in the fight against crime. Fine Gael claims to be the party of law and order. But tough rhetoric is no good if the Gardai lack the equipment to do their job,” he said.