Local Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has expressed concern after the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter refused to give a concrete assurance that Granard Garda Station in County Longford would remain operational for 24 hours a day.

Deputy Troy said: “There is concern in Granard following the announcement that a number of garda stations around the country will have their operations hours restricted from 24 hours to 9am-5pm, due to budget cutbacks.  I raised this issue with Minister Shatter and I am concerned by his lack of commitment on it.

“The Minister said he is ‘not aware of any plans, at this stage, to reduce the opening hours of Granard Garda Station’.  Given the concern that has been expressed locally I would have expected that the Minister could have been clearer in his response.  The Garda Policing Plan for the year has been published and certainty has been provided to other communities.

“I will be monitoring this situation carefully in the weeks and months ahead.  It is essential that communities have a strong and visible garda presence.  There is already a lot worry in rural communities about cuts to education for small schools, cuts to community health services and the new septic tank charges.  The Government must not further erode the fabric of communities and protecting local policing is essential,” concluded Deputy Troy.