THERE’S no Sheriff riding into Templemore to protect the town during the dark hours of 6pm to 7am, heard this month’s meeting of Templemore’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
The JPC brings together local politicians, Gardaí, and community groups to discuss security. Supt Pat O’Connor told Town Councillors that Templemore District is on the list with other districts in the country for “re-alignment” by June 23rd. “That’s the word I’ve been given,” said Supt O’Connor. So far, no concrete details have emerged about the number of staff transferring to Thurles under the planned downgrade of Templemore Garda Station. Cllr Martin Fogarty said the “dogs on the street” know the station will be closing from 6pm to 7am, and that about seven to eight Gardaí will be going to Thurles.
Mayor Michael Ryan said he had a private meeting with Chief Supt Catherine Kehoe, who was “not too forthcoming regarding what’s happening.” Gardaí are carrying out a feasibility study to determine Templemore Garda Station’s opening hours. “She talked about the facilities in Templemore being very important to the Division. She will endeavour to keep as many people out on the beat. She talked about the importance of community policing.”
Cllr Mick Connell - a former garda - said he understood it would be a “considerable downgrade.” “Big money” had been spent on upgrading prisoners’ cells: “I know the capacity in other stations and they don’t have it. We have the facilities here. We have the best training college in Europe. All the information is that there will be 6pm to 7am closing times.” Cllr Connell said they should be piling on the political pressure onto the three local TDs. The three TDs are invited to attend a Q&A session of the JPC in two weeks’ time.
Supt O’Connor said local Garda resources are stretched to the limit. “A 24-hour-station must have adequate staff to service five units. It’s very hard, with injuries on duty, people getting sick. We have to service Lisheen. With the current embargo on training, we have huge difficulties in keeping that service going.”
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.