Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North, Frank O’Rourke has expressed his disappointment at the fact that Naas is going to lose its status as a divisional headquarters under the new Garda reform plans.

Deputy O’Rourke acknowledged that the restructuring of An Garda Síochana is very important but said it was a backwards decision to take the divisional headquarters away from Naas and to relocate it to Portlaoise.

He continued, “The downgrading of Naas Garda division will come as a surprise to many and most certainly a disappointment. It is imperative that there is absolutely no downgrading of Garda resources in the area.

“The new divisional headquarters, based out of Portlaoise, will be catering for a population of almost 300,000 people, over 200,000 of whom are in Kildare. Surely it would have made more sense for the divisional headquarters to be where the population is concentrated.

“I understand that these sweeping reforms are designed to make An Garda Síochana more autonomous and bring frontline policing closer to the public, however, as it stands I have a real fear that this will reduce the Garda presence in many areas in Kildare, concerns which are shared by many of my constituents”, he concluded.