The Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Justice and Mayo TD, Dara Calleary has warned of further garda cutbacks in the county and more station closures.
The Ballina-based TD has expressed a fear that some of the counties district headquarters will be stripped of their status following a targeted review of district headquarters by the Justice Minister, Alan Shatter.
Mayo has six district headquarters based in Castlebar, Ballina, Westport, Swinford, Claremorris and Belmullet and Minister Shatter confirmed to Deputy Calleary that a targeted review of district headquarters was underway along with a further review of rural garda stations.
“This latest review instigated by Minister Shatter will certainly lead to the downgrading of district headquarter garda stations around the country,” said Deputy Calleary. “Mayo has six district headquarters [and] there are strong fears that some of these will soon be stripped of their district headquarter status, resulting in a loss of garda numbers and resources locally.
“This is in addition to Minister Shatter’s ‘review’ of small rural garda stations. He has already closed 39 stations in his first round of cuts earlier this year, including Mulranny, Bellacorick, Glenisland and Tourmakeady. The Minister is now in the process of considering closing more small stations.”
Deputy Calleary accused the Minister of being ‘consistent in his attacks on community policing’ and of targeting garda resources in rural area. He called on him to reveal when the review will be completed and how it will impact on garda numbers in the county.
“The station closures and downgrades that have already taken place this have certainly had an impact on local communities, leaving people feeling more vulnerable in their homes as burglary rates continue to rise. I will be strongly opposing any further attack on our garda resources here in Mayo,” Deputy Calleary concluded.
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