Tipperary Fianna Fáil Cllr John Carroll has hit out at reports that two more Garda Districts in Tipperary are to be downgraded. Cllr Carroll said this week “reliable reports” suggest that Templemore Garda station, which is a District Headquarters will come under the Control of the Thurles Garda District which will Result in Templemore Garda District being Downgraded to a Sub District with a possible Loss in Garda Numbers.
“This action would be particularly distressing for the local community to have such a vital service subsumed,” said Cllr Carroll, “particularly considering Templemore is the site of the Garda College.
“There also seems to be plans to downgrade the Garda District in Roscrea and place it under the control of Nenagh Garda District with Possible loss in Garda Numbers.
There is also a threat to Killaloe District Garda Station with a possible Downgrading to Sub-District Garda Station Status which will again Result in Possible Loss in Garda Numbers and will be a Cause of Major Concern to the People in Ballina and Killaloe and Adjoining Areas.
If the Government Proceeds with Downgrading of these Garda Districts in Tipperary and Killaloe it will present huge Problems for the Gardai in trying to Patrol very large Rural Areas across the County taking account of the Ageing Fleet of Garda Cars with Minimal Technical Resources.
If events of the last few weeks have taught us anything, it shows us that violent crime against elderly people in rural Ireland is getting more gruesome. Without the protection of a rural Garda station, elderly people in particular will not feel safe in their homes. Rural Garda stations act as a deterrent to crime and removing this security for older people is a disgrace.
“The Government already closed 39 stations in his first round of cuts earlier this year, including a Number of Garda Stations in Tipperary which will Result in People feeling very insecure in their Local Community, and now left at the Mercy of Criminals who can Roam without Detection.
“Since taking up office, Minister Shatter has been consistent in his attack on community policing and has targeted Garda resources in rural areas in particular.
“The station closures and downgrades that have already taken place have certainly had an impact on local communities, leaving people feeling more vulnerable in their homes as burglary rates continue to rise.
“Minister Shatter has serious questions to answer about the real savings to be made from these closures. He has attempted to justify this as a purely a cost-savings exercise and yet he has been forced to admit that he was ‘unable’ to identify the cost of running each of the stations in Tipperary and across the country that he has earmarked for closure.
“Closing and downgrading these stations is spreading fear and anxiety throughout rural Ireland, I will vigorously oppose any more closures, which are symptomatic of the sustained attack this Government has been waging on rural Ireland,” concluded Cllr Carroll.