Senior gardaí insist station closures will not mean cut in service

Senior gardaí are insisting the public will get the same level of service despite plans to disband two Garda districts in Co Cork.

Garda management will host public information meetings ahead of the November closures of the Cobh and Kanturk districts which are being axed as part of a countrywide rationalisation plan.

The Mallow Garda District will subsume most of the Kanturk Garda District and will become one of the largest garda districts in rural Ireland.

Mallow will take over the administrative running of garda stations in Kanturk, Newmarket, Meelin and Boherbue.

The rest of the current Kanturk Garda District, including Millstreet and Rathmore will be subsumed by Macroom.

It is expected all clerical officers will be transferred from their current headquarters in Kanturk to Mallow.

There has been no inspector appointed to Mallow since the last one retired in Feb 2013. However, because of the increasing workload which will fall to Mallow, the vacancy will be filled by November.

There will be an even greater carve-up of the Cobh Garda District. Stations at Cobh and Carrigtwohill will be run from Midleton while Glanmire will be run from Mayfield.

Carrignavar village will be policed from Gurranabraher while the rural area, north of it, will come under the remit of Fermoy gardaí.

Concern has been expressed by some politicians that the closure of the two districts could lead to a lesser service. However, senior garda sources said this is not the case.

It is understood that the move will not lead to a decrease in garda numbers operating in the areas concerned.

For many years, garda management has seen Glanmire as part of Cork City and Mayfield is far closer to Glanmire than Cobh if emergency back-up is needed.

However, concerns have been raised that a long- promised new garda station in Glanmire may now not materialise, despite promises earlier this year by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Fears have been raised locally that Glanmire gardaí may be transferred to Mayfield.

“While we all acknowledge that Glanmire is only 3km from Mayfield, it has a distinct population of 20,000 people. There are many towns in this country which have less and there is no question of closing their stations,” Senator John Gilroy (Lab) said.

“I will be holding the Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to the promise that was made to provide a new station so the gardaí [will] stay in Glanmire,” he added.

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