Sligo-North Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry has condemned the closure of three garda stations across Sligo and Leitrim as extreme and unnecessary. The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has announced the closure of Kiltyclogher, Bunnanadden and Drumkeeran Garda Stations next year without giving any operational explanation for doing so.
Senator Mac Sharry said: “The Minister for Justice has given no operational reason for the closure of Kiltyclogher, Bunnanadden and Drumkeeran Garda Stations which will leave communities exposed. The number of Gardaí in operation in the north-west is expected to remain the same but they will be based further away from rural households increasing a feeling of isolation in communities. This will result in no payroll savings for the Government and only increase the feeling of marginalisation and alienation of these communities.
“The prospect of garda station closures has been muted for a number of weeks however the Minister for Justice has failed to explain to people why certain station in particular communities would be singled out.
“In difficult economic times, unless policing policy is managed correctly, crimes rates increase. One of the most basic requirements of a sensible policy is the requirement to maintain a Garda presence in isolated rural communities. The projected number of Gardaí properly managed, can provide this.
“The Government’s decision to close three such rural garda stations in the Sligo-Leitrim area is deeply flawed in my view. It will increase unease and will do nothing to alleviate the concerns that are growing in rural communities that they are not a priority for this Government.”