Cllr Mick Connell said that since the changeover of some clerical staff from Templemore Garda Station to Thurles, the public perception is that the policing service is “not as good.”
“I don’t know if that’s real or imaginary, but, particularly at night-time, there seems to be a sparsity (of officers)” said Cllr Connell. “The worry of the people is that it will get worse.” Supt. Gerry Delmar said the Templemore Station has to cover a wide area, including Lisheen Mines. He would be worried if the public perception is that there are less frontline Gardaí in Templemore. However, “there has been no reduction” in the service, though they will keep looking at staff numbers. Thurles Garda Station would support Templemore if called upon in a crisis.
Cllr Marcus Wilson asked if any decision has been made regarding the future closing times at the Station. Supt. Delmar said no decision has been made so far, but the Garda Commissioner is expected to make an announcement in the next Quarter. There will probably be a reduction in opening hours, but the station will not be closed. “The people feel safe when the lights are on. It stops people congregating,” said Cllr Wilson. Supt. Delmar said he would communicate these concerns to his superiors. “The general feeling is that the decision will be made after May,” added Cllr Connell. “It’s a political decision.”
Meanwhile, a group of youths has moved into the Sisters of Mercy Convent Graveyard. Mayor Martin Fogarty said there was a “tent in the graveyard.” At least some of the group have “connections” with another group living in some caravans in Railway View (see pg 6). Cllr Maura Byrne said the youths were aged around 17, and that she “could not confront them.