Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway Eugene Murphy has again called on the Minister for Justice to ensure that Tarmonbarry Garda Station is included in the review, which will examine the reopening of Garda Stations in certain areas.
Deputy Murphy has received clarification from Sean Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that Tarmonbarry Garda station is still under state ownership and its future use is under consideration. Tarmonbarry is one of seven stations in the constituency which were closed since 2012.
Deputy Murphy recently queried the ownership status of the seven closed Garda stations in County Roscommon namely Ballintubber, Ballyforan, Ballymoe, Cootehall, Knockcroghery, Loughglynn and Tarmonbarry.
“Minister Canney has informed me that all seven Garda stations which were previously closed in County Roscommon are still under State ownership. Loughglynn Garda station has been retained for State use by the HSE while Cootehall Garda station has been assigned for community use. The future use of the remaining stations Ballintubber, Ballyforan, Ballymoe, Knockcroghery and Tarmonbarry are still under consideration.
“Under the terms of the Programme for Government, a new pilot scheme will be launched to reopen six Garda stations. I am calling on the Minister for Justice to ensure that Tarmonbarry station is considered for this pilot programme. This station’s location on the main N5 road, right beside the Shannon ensures accessibility and would enable officers to serve the town itself and the surrounding areas,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fail Deputy has also called for the closed Garda stations in County Roscommon which are still in state ownership to be assigned to local communities to help improve or provide additional community based services which could help enhance local towns and villages.
Deputy Murphy continued: “Garda resources across Galway-Roscommon were raided under Fine Gael and Labour. The number of officers on the ground has fallen by almost 10% since 2010, from 237 to 215. Fear levels have increased, particularly in areas which have seen their stations close. A strong Garda presence is an extremely important tool in the fight against crime, and these communities have lost a vital resource. Many people are now choosing not to report minor crimes as it involves travelling to another town where there is a Garda station.
“Fianna Fáil fought for improved Garda numbers and resources during its negotiations with Fine Gael and is pleased to have secured a commitment in the Programme for Government to increase Garda numbers to 15,000 and investment in CCTV at key locations along the road network. This will make a real difference to families, towns and villages in Roscommon and Galway and around the country and we will continue to pursue measures to tackle crime and protect our communities”.