For over 90 years, the image of the garda in the local station was part and parcel of community life in the county. But to allow for the new “policing philosophy” to commence in Ireland, five Leitrim garda stations had to close their doors for the final time yesterday, January 31.
Communities in Dromod, Dromahair, Cloone, Glenfarne and Keshcarrigan turned out to mark the huge occasion and the mood varied from anger to disappointment to sadness. People from each of the area expressed annoyance at the station closures, but hoped that the new policing plan would work and that they could continue to have a positive relationship with their local gardai.
According to An Garda Siochana, 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.
Next Wednesday, February 6 the Leitrim Observer will publish photos and stories from each of the stations that closed. The feature will include comments from local people, some history on the stations and what is expected from the new policing plan.