South Donegal - a safe place to live says Supt.

Michael McHugh


Michael McHugh

A South Donegal garda chief believes that the area is a safe place to live and where the force has the respect and co-operation of its citizens.

A South Donegal garda chief believes that the area is a safe place to live and where the force has the respect and co-operation of its citizens.

Supt Jimmy Coen was speaking after it was announced that he is being transferred to Cavan, after serving the people of north and south Donegal, for the past decade.

“I feel that the Ballyshannon Garda District is a safe place to live in and the Garda Siochana will continue to provide that service through the dedication of its men and women stationed here. The support of the people and its citizens has made my job and that of all gardai here easier, as a result of that trust and co-operation,” he told the Democrat.

Meanwhile Ballyshannon Garda District is to get a new Garda Superintendent after this week’s raft of long-awaited promotions to the rank of Superintendent.

Supt Patrick L. McGinn was one of 23 promotions to the rank of Garda Superintendent announced on Tuesday by the government.

Supt McGinn was an Inspector in Dundalk, having previously served there as a Inspector and he has also served as an Inspector in the Ballyshannon District, around 2000.

Supt Leo McGinn, as he is better known to colleagues, will replace Supt Coen, who is to be transferred to the Cavan District. Supt Coen spent the first twenty years of his career based on the Cavan/Monaghan Division.

A native of Galway, Supt Coen had spent the last decade of his progressive police career in Donegal - first as an Inspector in Ballyshannon, before being promoted to Superintendent attached to the Buncrana District.

Supt Coen was later transferred back to the Ballyshannon District, with the higher rank, following the transfer of Supt John McFadden (now retired), as north-west regional chief of the Garda Traffic Corps.

Supt Coen told the Democrat: “I have enjoyed my ten years in Ballyshannon, working with fantastic colleagues. I would like to record my appreciation for the support of the people of south Donegal and indeed the whole county in any dealings I’ve had with them in that time.

“I also want to express my gratitude to the local elected representatives in Donegal, Ballyshannon and Bundoran and the joint police committee for their co-operation. I also want to thank the court service, members of the legal profession and particularly Judge Kevin Kilrane for the assistance they have given me. I also wish to acknowledge the many community organisations who do tremendous work on the ground, on behalf of their own communities.

“I also have to say that local media including the Donegal Democrat were always extremely helpful, when it came to assisting us, when reporting crimes and appealing for information. Having dealt with the people of Donegal for the last ten years, they were always courteous, supportive and law abiding. I will have many happy memories and will greatly miss both the place and the people that I have befriended over the years.”

Among those who have paid tribute to Supt Coen is the Mayor of Ballyshannon Cllr John Meehan, who said that the local council had an extremely good working relationship with Supt Coen. “We wish him further success in his career,” he said.

Meanwhile, Supt McGinn is expected to take up his new appointment in Ballyshannon on February 21st. He now shares a surname with his namesake, Donegal’s top garda officer, Chief Supt Terri McGinn.