Angry Ballyshannon and Bundoran residents have been urged to attend the next meeting of Donegal County Council and “eyeball” officials.
“Ask them what are you guys doing, our councillors are telling us you that you are planning to close Ballyshannon and Bundoran fire stations in favour of one station for the two towns.
“You will get a lot of soft words and be told that it is not happening."
This was the advice from Independent Councillor John Campbell, who also urged the disappointingly small crowd in Dorrian’s Hotel, Ballyshannon, to start petitions and get the word out to the other 4,000 people or so who could be affected.
The councillor advised the residents to send emails and make calls to the council to vent their anger.
Cllr. Campbell, who made a passionate contribution along with Ballyshannon Fine Gael Councillor Barry O’Neill, claimed that Donegal County Council was trying to “railroad councillors” into accepting just one station.
Community activist Thomas Kelly, Kinlough, Sinn Féin Councillor Noel Jordan, independent Councillor Niamh Kennedy and former Ballyshannon Chief Fire Officer Bernard Drummond joined Cllr. Campbell on the platform.
Meeting organiser Valerie McNulty said the meeting came from the community to “not to be forced into having more cuts”.
“The council have cuts lots of things and this is a life and death issue and we can’t be without one of our stations," she said.
Mr. Drummond said he was station officer in Ballyshannon for 40 years.
“In all my time the greatest thing was speed of turn-out to get to an incident.
“Anybody who knows anything about fire knows that the first 15-20 minutes are very important.
“Before I retired this same issue was going on,” he told the meeting.