April 2, 2023

Kilkenny gardai dispute Justice Department’s drop in drug unit numbers as a ‘technicality’

Kilkenny gardaí are disputing recently released Government figures which said there has been a significant reduction in the number of gardai working in the local drug unit.

Figures released by the Department of Justice last week, show just one Garda and one sergeant are working in the Kilkenny/ Carlow drug unit at the current time, down from a sergeant and five gardai in 2018.

This decrease from six members to two members is being disputed by local gardai, who say the reduction is due to a technicality and the number of members in the drug unit is down just one year on year.

Speaking with KilkennyNow.ie, a local Garda spokesperson said the department is looking at it if from a very matter of fact position and confirmed there are indeed five members on the team.

“It’s technical. There are members of the Garda unit working with the drugs unit. They work in plain clothes and do the same job, the only difference is they have not been made detectives in the unit yet.

“The Department of Justice would be looking at this from a very technical point of view. There is one sergeant and one Garda Detective in the local drug unit, but there are three more on the team. It’s just awaiting the provision of the appointment to make the position official.”

As of September this year, there are 232 gardai in drug units nationally. That’s an increase of just 10 gardaí from last year.

This number is still significantly lower than the 359 gardai working in drug units at the end of 2011. Garda drugs units are made up mainly of detectives and undercover gardaí.

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