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Closure Of Garda Stations Not An Issue In Tipperary

gardaThe Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, announced the Annual Policing Plan for 2013 before the Houses of the Oireachtas recently. His stated aim was to make the force more effective and to reduce its costs significantly.

Under the Ministers plan, some 100 Garda stations will close, while 28 Garda districts will amalgamate into just 14, and it is now anticipated that most of the rural stations will be closed in the first six months of 2013.

To my mind the recently announced closure of remote garda stations here in rural Tipperary is not really an issue or a reason for alarm. Some local politicians however have been quick “on the draw,” to react negatively to these proposed changes, possibly in their search for that ever welcome newspaper vote gathering headline or radio interview.

The five stations marked for closure in Tipperary are New Inn, Grangemockler, Terryglass, Rearcross & Dundrum, with two other stations close to our county borders, namely Galbally & Johnstown.

Most of these stations marked for closure are simply run down, one man stations, which only open part-time and rarely if ever at night.  These stations are truly obsolete and a complete waste of both manpower & resources, while offering little or no contribution in either preventing or indeed solving rural crime.

Of much greater concern to Tipperary rural dwellers however is Minister Shatter’s apparent determination to drastically reduce Tipperary Garda numbers and his failure to date to provide promised adequate replacement Garda vehicles and equipment.

Money now acquired from the sale of these station assets must be directed towards increasing Garda numbers, vehicles and supplying up-to-date technical equipment, thus providing increased mobile patrols in the Tipperary rural area.

Our present government must not now place the security of this county at risk in their efforts to meet the financial demands of our current masters, “The Troika,” who appear to be interfering with essential elements of our national security.

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