Falling Gardai

It was reported in this week’s Inishowen Independent that the number of gardai has fallen in most towns in Inishowen except for Buncrana, Muff and Newtown.

Moville was hit particularly badly with the number of gardai falling from 9 to just 4 since 2014.

The only other places to have been hit as badly are Burnfoot where the numbers have gone down from 14 to 5 and Carrigans where the numbers have fallen from 5 to 2.

Surprisingly the number of gardai has gone up from 3 to 4 in Muff – the only place to have a rise. It seems to have escaped the cuts possibly because it is so near the border.


Another figure to note is 48. No, it is not the meaning of the universe (that’s 42) but the number of gardai in Buncrana in both 2007 and today in 2014 – yes, exactly the same.

So, what is behind these figures?

The population of Buncrana is 5,546 while the population of Moville & Greencastle combined is 2,296 (1,481 + 817).

So, Buncrana has less than two and a half times the population of Moville but has 12 times the number of gardai.


In 2007 there were 48 gardai in Buncrana and 49 in other stations in Inishowen.

In 2014 there were still 48 gardai in Buncrana but only 23 in other stations in Inishowen. Indeed Malin and Culdaff stations have closed in this time when Malin used to have 7 gardai.

Can you spot a trend?


It looks as if some kind of decision has been taken to maintain the numbers in Buncrana but to gradually run down the numbers in places like Moville by not replacing gardai when they retire or leave or get promoted.

One would expect that in another 7 years time the number of gardai in Moville will be even lower still.

There is very little crime in Moville. From memory, whilst there has been regularly crimes in Buncrana and Carndonagh reported weekly in the local newspapers it’s a couple of months since there were any reported in Moville.

There was one, a drunk driving offence, reported as having been committed by a Moville person – but it didn’t happen in Moville.

Few Crimes

Many of the few crimes that do take place in Moville aren’t actually committed by Movillians. “It’ll be those Derry wans” is a popular statement after reports of any crime here.

The powers that be, presumably, will be thinking that if there is so little crime why do we need any gardai.

With just 55 crimes of any type in Moville last year, Moville had the lowest number of crimes per head of population in the whole of Inishowen – which is not exactly a crime-ridden area anyway.


It looks as though they see the future to be a full complement of gardai to be situated in Buncrana and for numbers in Moville and other places in Inishowen to be run down.

Whether this will be to just a skeleton staff or whether it will all go to Buncrana in the end is unknown.

From the incident in Carn recently when a woman died after having to wait 50 minutes for an ambulance after being hit by a car, it looks as if people in Greencastle & Moville are gradually being abandoned by the emergency services both in terms of their health and their safety.