Minister for Justice Alan Shatter yesterday (Wednesday) announced the closure of 100 Garda stations and amongst those that will be closed next year are the stations in Dromod, Keshcarrigan, Glenfarne, Cloone and Dromahair. Gardai currently attached to stations that are scheduled to close will be re-located as follows: from Dromod and Keshcarrigan to Carrick-on-Shannon; from Cloone to Carrigallen and from Glenfarne and Dromahair to Manorhamilton.
Announcing the closures Minister Shatter said, ““As Minister I am committed to ensuring that the Garda Síochána use all of its resources in the fight against crime in the most efficient and effective way possible. Until I assumed office the number and location of Garda stations in the State had barely changed since 1922 and the need for change and consolidation of Garda stations, based on a modern operational assessment as to how the Gardai can best serve the community, was clearly required.”
Minister Shatter added. ““I am pleased that, despite the financial difficulties we were able to acquire 213 Garda vehicles in 2012 with €4m. In 2013, a further €5m will be made available for the purchase and fit-out of vehicles to ensure Garda mobility and the continuing modernisation of the Garda fleet.”
Commenting on the closures Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said, “The current challenge for An Garda Síochána is to maintain public safety in homes, on streets and in public places while operating in an extremely difficult financial environment.
“This requires making difficult decisions and hard strategic choices to meet public expectations. As a consequence I am required to continually assess An Garda Síochána’s capability, resilience and effectiveness.”
Commissioner Callinan added, “The announcement today represents the most fundamental restructuring of An Garda Síochána since the foundation of the organisation. I acknowledge that this programme will be challenging for both the public and indeed for my own members of all ranks. However these are challenges we must face together. I am confident that there will be no diminution of service by An Garda Síochána.
“The revised structures will continue to support our community policing philosophy through the clustering of services at policing hubs. The centralisation of services will facilitate the introduction of an enhanced grid patrolling system that will be operational and intelligence led.”
Locally the Roscommon/Longford Division will see the closures of the Ballintubber, Ardagh, Ballinalee, Newtowncashel, Ballyforan and Knockcroghery stations while Bawnboy will be amongst the stations to be closed in the Cavan/Monaghan Division and Cliffoney in Sligo is also set to be closed.