One hundred Garda stations across the country are to close next year.
Other Garda stations are facing revised opening hours under a major restructuring announced by the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan this afternoon.
29 Garda stations are to close in the Western region which covers Clare, Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
14 will close in the Eastern Region which includes Laois, Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath.
The Northern region which includes Co Cavan, Donegal and Sligo/Leitrim is facing the closure of 20 stations.
In the South East, 12 stations will close across Carlow/Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Tipperary.
The Southern Region is to lose 22 Garda stations in Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick.
Despite the closures, the Commissioner says he's confident there will not be no diminution of services by the Gardaí.
It's anticipated most of the station closures will happen within the first six months of the year.
Full statement on Garda-District and Station Consolidation:
Speaking at Garda Headquarters today the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said; I am committed to providing the best possible policing service to all the communities of this State.
The Garda organisation prides itself on being a community oriented police service that is embedded in our communities and is held in high regard.
The current challenge for An Garda Síochána is to maintain public safety in homes, on streets and in public places while operating in an extremely difficult financial environment.
This requires making difficult decisions and hard strategic choices to meet public expectations.
As a consequence I am required to continually assess An Garda Síochána’s capability, resilience and effectiveness.
An Garda Síochána has completed a comprehensive review of its district and station network. The objective of this review was to identify opportunities to introduce strategic reforms to enhance service delivery, increase efficiency and streamline practices within the organisation.
The review concluded that a revised District and Station network commensurate with the organisation’s resource base would best meet public demand.
The Garda District and Station Consolidation Programme provides for the following:
* The amalgamation of twenty eight (28) Garda districts to fourteen (14) enlarged Garda districts.
* The consequential realignment of an additional fourteen (14) Garda district boundaries.
* The consolidation of one hundred Garda stations arising from the review of district structures.
* The revised opening hours of the Garda station at Dublin Airport and six (6) Garda stations in the Cork City division.
The Garda District and Station Consolidation programme is one of the current strategic organisation development programmes being undertaken by An Garda Síochána, and seeks to build on the efficiencies that have been achieved to date.
The Garda District and Station Consolidation Programme provides for effectiveness and efficiencies through a programme of restructuring and reconfiguration of our service delivery methods, concomitant with changes to work practices within the new rostering arrangements already introduced.
The announcement today represents the most fundamental restructuring of An Garda Síochána since the foundation of the organisation.
I acknowledge that this programme will be challenging for both the public and indeed for my own members of all ranks.
However these are challenges we must face together. I am confident that there will be no diminution of service by An Garda Síochána.
The revised structures will continue to support our community policing philosophy through the clustering of services at policing hubs.
The centralisation of services will facilitate the introduction of an enhanced grid patrolling system that will be operational and intelligence led.
This patrol system will ensure that a high visibility and community oriented policing service continues to be delivered throughout the country and will yield the following benefits:
* Increased Garda visibility and patrol hours
* Increased mobility and flexibility within an area resulting in an improved policing service to the public.
* Enhanced co-ordination of Garda activity resulting in a greater visibility and presence in the communities.
* More effective use of limited resources across a wider area.
* Continued Garda presence in communities
Details of the Garda District and Station Consolidation Programme are available on the Garda website www.garda.ie