Concerns over rural Garda stations

CONCERNS over proposed closures of rural garda stations were voiced by Offaly County Councillors with clarification to be sought from the Minister for Justice & Equality.

CONCERNS over proposed closures of rural garda stations were voiced by Offaly County Councillors with clarification to be sought from the Minister for Justice & Equality.

Fianna Fail Councillor Sinead Moylan Ryan raised the issue at the November meeting of Offaly County Council this week. The County Councillor outlined her concerns, saying it would be ‘detrimental’ if smaller rural stations particularly in the south and west of the county were targeted as part of any closure plans by the Minister for Justice.

Cllr Moylan Ryan requested the Council write to the Justice on the matter. Fine Gael Councillor, Connie Hanniffy supported her motion. However, she urged caution in the wording of the letter.

“We should write to the Minister seeking direction on the matter regarding rural stations, what the policy is and which would be closed,” she remarked, noting that it would be important as well for the Policing Committee to know where the boundaries of where each station covered and requested the provision of this information in preparation for any closures.

Independent Councillor John Foley agreed with the sentiments of the previous speakers. “We are being left behind. Everything seems to be closing down. We wouldn’t be told.”

The County Councillors agreed to write to the Justice Minister seeking further information on this issue.