Vehicles stolen in Manor recovered by Gardai

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Three top of the range vehicles stolen in a weekend raid at Colm Dillon’s Motors at Manorcunnigham have been recovered.

According to a spokesperson for the garage who spoke with the ‘Journal’ yesterday the two Audis and a Toyota LandCruiser were recovered earlier this week after ‘great work’ by police forces on both sides of the Border.

She also confirmed the vehicles are currently being held by Gardai in Letterkenny where they are being examined as part of an ongoing investigation.

The organised theft of the vehicles - a number of men wearing balclavas were involved in the raid in the early hours of last Sunday morning - has led to questions about garda manning levels in Donegal and whether they are adequate to deal with a rising crime rate.

Donegal North-East TD, Charlie McConalogue suggested the recent spate of burglaries and thefts stresses the need for additional resources.

“The government is leaving Donegal exposed as a target for criminals by continuing to implement its policy of cutting resources in border areas. There were 473 Gardái in Co. Donegal in 2010. This fell to 457 in just one year. In addition, the Government has refused to halt its policy of closing and downgrading some Garda stations.

“The burglary of several homes as well as the weekend robbery at Dillon Cars following on from the very recent robbery at Bridgend Post Office shows the folly of such an approach by the Government. Recent weeks have also seen the theft of livestock from two sheep farms in the Birdstown area.

No patrol car

“The report in the last two days of a patrol car not being available to local Gardai to conduct an investigation into a robbery reflects a new low in the under resourcing of the Gardai in enabling them to carry out their work.

“I will be raising the issue in the Dáil with the Minister. It is essential that he and the Government recognise the need for additional resources in the county,” Deputy McConalogue concluded.

Responding to reports that a victim of burglary in Manorcunningham had to drive a local Garda to her home because he didn’t have a vehicle available to him, Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said: “ I am greatly alarmed at this latest development. This is evidence yet again of the lack of resources available to the Gardaí in Donegal.

“The reality is that despite assurances given to me by the Minister for Justice and senior Gardaí, Government cutbacks are having a real impact in Donegal. I have received a number of complaints from victims of crime in recent times about Garda response times. A clear pattern is emerging at this stage.”

He concluded: “I will be raising this latest incident and my growing concern with the Minister and the acting Garda Chief Supt, Jim Sheridan”.