Fianna Fáil has condemned the closure of Cavan army barracks along with the army facilities in Mullngar, Clonmel and Castlebar. Cavan-Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has said the confirmation today that Fine Gael and Labour are to shut down the state-of-the-art Dún Úi Neill Barracks in Cavan comes as a major blow to the town and to the entire region.
“This is a pointless and extremely costly mistake,” said Deputy Smith. “Dún Úi Neill is the most modern army barracks not only in Ireland, but in Europe. Opened by the Fianna Fáil Government in 1990, it is also one of the most cost-effective and efficient army barracks in Europe.
“Let me be clear: This is a political decision by Fine Gael and Labour and they cannot blame anyone else for it. Fianna Fáil in Government was totally committed to the army barracks in Cavan and there was no question whatsoever of closing it. I am struggling to understand how the Government can justify its closure, given the enormous impact this move will have on the local economy.
“Far from saving any money, the Defence Minister Alan Shatter’s agenda of army barracks closures will end up costing the exchequer millions. It also heightens the concerns that Minister Shatter will be pressing ahead with widespread garda station closures particularly in rural communities. Such a strategy will seriously damage the economies and social lives of the communities affected.
“We have a long and proud army tradition here in Cavan. I am appealing to the Fine Gael TDs in this constituency, Joe O’Reilly, Sean Conlan and Heather Humphries to fight for their communities as they promised they would do. The voters in Cavan-Monaghan did not elect them to be silent in Government and stand idly by while Minister Alan Shatter pursues an agenda that has such an enormous local cost attached,” said Deputy Smith.