“We have been left to fend for ourselves now,“ stated John Conefrey Chairperson of the local Text Alert Group at the closing of Cloone Garda Station last week.
Believed to have opened in the 1960s the Garda Station located just outside the village also comes with a two story three bed house.
Garda Marie O’Reilly from Tarmonbarry who has been stationed in Cloone since June 2010 will be transferred to Mohill. Last Thursday, January 31 she was moving the last of the files to Mohill Garda Station. She said she did not know when the OPW would take over the building. Garda O’Reilly said she believed “old people may not call Mohill and Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Stations as frequently as they called Cloone station.”
Garda Tony Byrne who was also in Cloone for the closing, was stationed in Cloone for three years and also lived in the house on the site. He said “people felt they could call on the local garda day or night” and that gave them security.
John Conefrey said many elderly people in the area are afraid of burglaries and are busy locking their doors. Mr Conefrey pointed out that the Cloone area has very bad mobile phone coverage making it difficult to contact Gardai if there is an issue. He said the local garda stationed here had “local information and the trust of the people.”
Sinn Féin Cllr Martin Kenny said he was “disappointed to see the station closed up and gone.” He said “we lost the post office two years ago and two local schools closed last year - and now the Garda Station.”