The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern TD, said he was determined to continue protecting services to the public in the areas of frontline policing and crime prevention.

Speaking following the publication of the Budget today, Minister Ahern said everyone had to "cut their cloth" to take into account the changing economic circumstances.  

The Minister said: "We are endeavouring to ensure that numbers working in the Justice area are maintained, and indeed increased, in the short term.  For example, Garda numbers are scheduled to reach a record high of almost 15,000 by the end of the year. And we must also take into account that over 2,000 civilians now work in An Garda Síochána, ending much of the deskbound tasks of the traditional police force." 

The Minister said the total new expenditure reductions in the Justice area amount to €21m - comprising €11m in current and €10m in capital spending. This amounts to less than 1% of the total Justice budget of €2.63 billion in 2009.

Minister Ahern said: "I have attempted to limit the impact on service provision areas. The principal reductions are in the area of information communications technology (ICT) and other telecommunications equipment and rescheduling some capital building projects."

7 April 2009