Cllr Caillian Ellis is calling for the restoration of a full time garda service in Ballinamore and Drumshanbo Garda Stations.
Bringing the motion forward at Monday's Ballinamore MD meeting, Cllr Ellis said that more often than not, these stations were unmanned when people visited them.
“This is through no fault of the gardai, they are understaffed,” he said, “but we need a full time presence in these garda stations.”
Cllr Ellis proposed that the MD write to the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner seeking to have a full time Garda presence reinstated in Ballinamore and Drumshanbo.
He said that “our county is being take over by people who are causing havoc in our communities. I am calling for people to stand up and demand a (full time) garda presence in our towns.”
Cllr Ellis said that the presence of a 24 hour station in these towns would be a comfort to the elderly and vulnerable.
“You can stand on the street in Ballinamore and half the people who walk by you wouldn't know who they are. A strong garda presence is needed and we should have a service which runs 24 hours in our garda stations.
“If possible I would also ask that the gardai stationed here live within the communities themselves.”
He said that it was important that sufficient staff be put in place in Leitrim adding “people are totally fed up and worried” and asked “how many criminals are slipping through the net because we don't have a 24 hour service in our towns?”
The councillor noted that the Garda Commissioner is set to participate in an online Leitrim Joint Policing Committee meeting next Monday and said that he wanted the motion passed on to him as soon as possible so that he isn't “caught short at the JPC meeting.”
Cathaoirleach of Ballinamore MD, Cllr Ita Reynolds Flynn backed the motion and Cllr Brendan Barry also added his support.
Cllr Barry said he had noted that temporary traffic lights were out of order between Mohill and Fenagh last Sunday week.
When he contacted gardai to report the situation he said he was told that “all gardai are tied up with an incident in Carrick-on-Shannon.”
“The (garda) numbers don't seem to be there,” he said.
Cllr Gerry Dolan agreed a stronger garda presence is needed in both towns.
Cllr Enda McGloin pointed out he had previously raised the need for set hours of opening to be posted on the door of garda stations like Drumshanbo.
“I raised this previously but I couldn't get a positive reply to this request,” noted Cllr McGloin.
“It is important people know when their garda station will be staffed,” he stressed.
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