The announcement that Mulranny Garda Station will close has come as a shock to the village’s entire community, according to Seán Carolan, the PRO of Mulranny Community Futures Group. Mr Carolan was speaking ahead of a public meeting on the issue that will be held in the Mulranny Tiernaur Community Centre at 9pm tonight (Tuesday).
Four garda stations in Mayo will close in 2012 as a result of budget cutbacks announced two week ago. Garda stations in Mulranny, Bellacorick, Tourmakeady and Glenisland will all shut. Meanwhile doubts remain over the long-term viability of garda stations in Lahardane, Ballyvary, Bonniconlon, Ballyglass, Killala and Ballycastle.
Last week Mr Carolan sent a letter to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressing the anxieties of local people and inviting the Fine Gael leader to the meeting.
In his letter Mr Carolan told An Taoiseach that Mulranny’s increased viability as a tourism hub, coupled with the annual increase in population during the summer months – when over 100,000 people flock to the area – meant it was imperative that the garda station was retained.
He added, “This community has grown up with a familiar sight of our own Garda, someone who is part of the community, someone to confide in and someone who is supportive of and supported by the community. We have been served by excellent Gardaí including Liam Jordan, John Tuffy and currently Ronan O’Grady, who is a welcome and familiar sight in the area through his work and involvement in the local football team.”
He also made particular reference in his letter to a statement from then Garda Commissioner Facthna Murphy in 2009 where he stated that An Garda Siochána had a long-established tradition of fostering and developing close relationships within the communities it serves.
In that statement Commissioner Murphy said, “I am a consistent and strong advocate of the concept of ‘Community Policing’ as I see it as central to An Garda Siochána’s ability to deliver a professional, effective and responsive policing service. It is essential that the community remains at the heart of everything we do, as they are our greatest ally in our work in preventing and detecting crime and protecting the safety of the people we serve.”
Mr Carolan continued by asking the Taoiseach to consider keeping the station in Mulranny open because the building is in good repair, is spacious, has good communication facilities, and is strategically located at the main access roads to Achill, Curraun and Ballycroy.
Mr Carolan concluded, “Community policing has been very successful in preventing crime in the Mulranny area, it would be cynical if this were cited as a reason for closure.”