Public representatives say most of their fears about a potential downgrading of policing in a large part of Co Cork have been allayed by senior gardaí.
In particular politicians in the Cobh area say they are a lot happier about the protection gardaí will afford the public, even though their station will soon no longer have the same status it has enjoyed since the foundation of the State.
The Cobh Garda District is to be disbanded and the area it oversaw transferred to the jurisdiction of other Garda districts.
Chief Superintendent Ger Dillane, who is in charge of the Cork North Garda Division, which encompasses Cobh, maintained the move would offer the public a better service.
He told members of the Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) that the Cobh Garda District was to be subsumed by adjoining Garda districts.
The senior garda said it didn’t make sense to have a district headquarters on Great Island, which was administering areas as far away as Carrignavar and Whitechurch.
Chief Supt Dillane said a lot of time was wasted by Cobh-based gardaí travelling to Glanmire to investigate robberies and bring prisoners back to the cells in Cobh.
He said it made much more sense for Mayfield gardaí who are only minutes away from Glanmire to police that area.
Parts of Whitechurch are to be administered from Gurranabraher garda station and Carrignavar will be carved up between Garda stations in Mayfield, Gurranabraher and Fermoy.
In the meantime the Garda stations in Cobh and Carrigtwohill will be administered from Midleton.
The changes are expected to come into effect in April.
Chief Supt Dillane told Cobh-based councillors John Mulvihill and Jim Halligan that just three personnel would be removed from Cobh Garda Station as a result of the changes: the superintendent, his clerk and a secretary.
He said the rest of the gardaí would remain there and would be able to offer the local population a better service as they wouldn’t have to cover outlying areas.
Both councillors said they felt a lot happier following the explanation.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved