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Govt to receive reception centres plan in coming weeks

The Minister of State for Integration has said there will be better clarity on plans for new reception centres when Minister Roderic O’Gorman brings revised proposals to the Cabinet in the coming weeks.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Saturday with Colm Ó Mongáin, Joe O’Brien said: “Two years ago it was obviously a different time and since then we have accommodated almost an additional 100,000 people, between Ukrainians and International Protection applicants.

“That is the core reason why we don’t have the six centres now because we had to react on a weekly basis for a period of time now to make sure we had shelter for the majority of those 100,000 people that have come since then.”

He said Mr O’Gorman will bring revised proposals to the Cabinet in the coming weeks and he said the plan was always there but the last two years have been “exceptional” which did not allow the plan in the white paper to progress.

Meanwhile, the Garda Representative Association said “it’s very hard to see” how An Garda Síochána has the capacity to provide additional supports for those arriving in Ireland.

It comes after the Department of Integration reportedly said that communities that take in large numbers of International Protection applicants or refugees will get additional gardaí and GPs.

Speaking on the same programme, GRA chair Brendan O’Connor said: “There are fewer gardaí, we are struggling to retain the staff we have. We are struggling to recruit and we believe the capacity is not there within those existing resources.”

He said there are too few gardaí and until that “nettle is grasped”, there will be continuous problems with the delivery of policing.

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Also speaking on Speaking on RTÉ’s Colm Ó Mongáin, Independent TD for Clare Michael McNamara said he also finds it very hard to see how the Government is going to meet the pledge to provide additional gardaí and GPs.

He said in Scariff, Co Clare there was a failed recruitment drive to find GPs.

Mr McNamara said: “Well obviously if the population of a town or settlement is greatly increased, there is going to be a requirement for a greater garda presence because garda presence is based on numbers and you can’t base it on old numbers if there is going to be an increase in population.”

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