Shatter must confirm future of all garda stations in Kerry
Senator Mark Daly has said he is extremely concerned that more garda stations across Kerry are facing closure in the next few months after the Justice Minister Alan Shatter launched a fresh attack rural garda stations. Minister Shatter has confirmed that his decision to close Ballylongford, Moyvane and An Clochán stations in Kerry, along with dozens of others across the country, is just the beginning of sustained attack on community policing.
Senator Daly has called on Minister Shatter to immediately clarify how many stations he intends to shut down in Kerry and the savings he has identified from these closures.
“Minister Shatter went to great lengths last year to play down the extent of garda station closures and the impact this policy would have on local communities. He said the number of closures would be “very small” and there was no “reason for any community anywhere in the country to be alarmed”. But now it seems that the 39 stations Minister Shatter shut down at the weekend were just phase one of a larger plan to target local garda stations for severe cuts this year. The result is that there will be real fear in Kerry that yet more garda stations are facing closure.
“Minister Shatter has serious questions to answer about the real savings to be made from these closures. He has attempted to justify this as a purely a cost-savings exercise but he has yet to produce the actual cost of running Ballylongford, Moyvane and An Clochán stations and the other stations that he has earmarked for closure. People are struggling to understand how he can he decide which garda stations to close if he doesn’t how much each station costs to run?
“Minister Shatter’s latest threats of garda cuts are causing a significant amount of fear in communities. The Minister must now confirm the future of all garda stations in Kerry. In opposition, Alan Shatter himself called for extra gardaí in the community, claiming that areas of the country have become ‘lawless badlands’. He clearly understands the importance of a visible garda presence in the community and the serious long-term consequences of removing such a key local service.”