Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has told the Seanad that the uncertainty over the Justice of the District Headquarters Status of Glenties Garda Station is causing wide-spread annoyance and anger in West Donegal.
Senator Ó Domhnaill moved an emergency motion in Seanad Éireann, last night (Wednesday) on the issue calling on the Minister for Justice to clarify the current position. However Senator Ó Domhnaill called the response received in the Seanad from the Minister of State Kathleen Lynch on behalf of the Minister of Justice “flabbergasting”.
Ó Domhnaill said: “The response received was deeply disappointing and has given absolutely no assurances on the future of the District Headquarters status of Glenties Garda Station. The Minister did outline that the Policing Plan for 2013 has as yet not been finalised but said that any proposals contained within the plan are expected to contain measures to address the ongoing issue of rationalisation of the Garda Station Network.
“The Minister went on to outline that the regrettable and unacceptable news that the Glenties Garda District will be subject to this same level of monitoring and decision making to ensure that optimum use is made of Garda resources.”
Ó Domhnaill told the Seanad; “The Glenties Garda District covers a huge geographical area stretching from Kilcar/Carrick to Meenacuing in Gweedore, covering Garda Stations which include: Annagry, Bunbeg, Burtonport, Carrick, Dungloe and Glencolmcille. The Garda strength as of May 31 2012, the latest date for which figures are available, was 52 in the Glenties District from a total of 433 in the Donegal Division.”
“The Minister and the Government are responsible for providing resources to An Garda Síochana to protect our citizens. An under resourced force cannot be expected to do this work effectively. The Government have closed 39 Stations over the last few months with three of those stations being in Donegal.
“The Minister has failed to give a guarantee in the Seanad about the future of the Glenties District Station and in my view that shows a total lack of commitment to Rural Policing. The existing Garda Resources must be protected and indeed additional resources required.
“At a time of increasing crime in our County the Ministers response is flabbergasting.”