Labour Senator Jimmy Harte says that Sinn Féin concerns about the future of Glenties Garda Station sounds hollow.
In a stinging reaction to yesterday’s story where Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty claimed there are serious doubts over the future of the Glenties garda station as a HQ for the area, Senator Harte claims Sinn Féin “have no interest” in the future of the garda station:
“I am sure that the decent people of Glenties and the area are bemused to hear a Sinn Féin politician showing concern about the future of a garda station when they spent many years refusing to recognise the authority of the state and, as reported in the Smithwick Tribunal, the IRA monitored the Garda Stations along the border to see who came and went from the stations.
“I think Deputy Doherty should ask himself why his organisation refused to recognise the gardaí who defended the State against the action of his comrades. He and Sinn Féin have no interest in the future of Glenties Garda Station, and as usual, are trying to court public approval.”
Yesterday Deputy Pearse Doherty expressed concern over the future of Glenties Garda Station.
Speaking after a meeting with what he described as “concerned residents in Glenties”, he said there is speculation about the future of the status of Glenties as a District HQ.
Deputy Doherty’s statement added: “There is speculation that a report by the Garda Commissioner, due to be presented to the Minister for Justice in the near future, may contain a proposal to remove the District Headquarters status from Glenties Garda Station.
“It is speculated that the proposal may split the Glenties Garda District in two with the Headquarters for the region to be divided between Milford and Ballyshannon.
“There is currently approximately 30 to 40 staff based in Glenties Garda Station, which is the District Headquarters for much of rural west Donegal. A proposal such as this would have a considerable impact on the region with a significant number of full–time jobs to leave the area.
“Increased travel time from Headquarters would mean that responses to incidents would be less efficient and there would be a lower Garda presence in West Donegal, especially out-of-hours.
“I have spoken with members of the Glenties Community Action Group on Monday, and they are highly concerned that such a proposal may be under consideration for the town. They feel that it would have huge consequences for the safety and the economy of the region.
“I am angry, that once again, the Government is contemplating a proposal which goes to the heart of rural Ireland. This area of west Donegal is yet again in fear that another decision will be made in Dublin, to cut a vital service, without a thought to the impact on the Community. When will it stop?”
Deputy Doherty continued:
“I would call on the Garda Commissioner to clarify the proposals in relation to the Glenties Garda Station. In writing his report, I would also ask him to fully consider the impact of removing the District Headquarters from Glenties, particularly in terms of providing an adequate Garda service to this region.”