Fianna Fáil Cllr Joe Flaherty has hit out at the ongoing delay in the start of work on a €500,000 refurbishment for Longford town Garda station.

Funding for the works was first approved in May 2017 and Cllr Flaherty says the delay is hampering the efforts of local hardworking Gardaí in fighting crime.

Cllr Flaherty said, “The Longford station is the busiest in the Longford-Roscommon district and I know that the planned works include a major incident room which is urgently needed. The town has the largest number of critical incidents over the course of the year and the team on the ground need to be given the infrastructure to fight crime and support their operations.”

Cllr Flaherty was speaking after a recent Joint Policing Committee meeting where it was confirmed that there is still no resolution in terms of a commencement date and it appears that the delay lies between the OPW and Department of Justice.

Cllr Flaherty fears that cutbacks might be the cause of the delay as earlier plans were for a ground floor extension to include new holding cells. The plans were later modified prior to the planning application to also include a first floor extension.

“Modern crime fighting demands modern infrastructure and a critical incident room and a tactical support room are needed to help Gardaí protect the local community. These additions will enable the installation of high definition screens that will allow the local Gardaí to monitor a digital CCTV network for the town should it ever come on stream,” said Cllr Flaherty.

“It is vital that the Department of Justice and OPW resolve any outstanding issues and proceed immediately to tender in the hope that the extension can be completed before the end of the year.”