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14 March 2012

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Calls for explanation of €30million spend on Garda firearms training

Ten fold increase in spend on weapons between 2010 and 2011

The Cork TD described the sums of money involved as "staggering" and said the Minister needed to explain how such expenditure could be justified.

The Government has been asked to explain why the Gardaí spend on weapons has increased ten-fold between 2010 and 2011.  Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Jonathan O'Brien TD, put the question to the Minister for Justice after it was revealed in a Parliamentary question that not only had the spend on firearms rocketed in the last year but that the Gardaí had also spent over €30 million on firearms training over a seven year period.

The Cork TD described the sums of money involved as "staggering" and said the Minister needed to explain how such expenditure could be justified.

He said: “I asked the Minister to provide information regarding the amount of money spent each year on weapons, ammunition and maintenance, and firearms training for the Gardai. The figures provided to me are staggering. Each year the state spends €4.5million on firearms training alone for the Gardai.

“While we agree that armed Gardai must be trained adequately.  However, there are serious questions to be answered regarding the costs of this. Who is providing the training? Is it a private company? If it is in-house training, then why is it costing so much? Spending over €30million on firearms training over seven years is an enormous amount of money."

The Sinn Féin TD pointed out that in 2010 there was a spend of €38,632.  This rocketed to €340,697 in 2011.  "What was different in 2011 that required such a high amount of money for weapons?" he asked.

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