TD Marc McSharry with a group from south Donegal opposed to the closure of Ballyshannon fire station who attended the meeting
County councillors have rejected a controversial recommendation from Donegal County Council to close Ballyshannon and Bundoran fire stations and replace them with a merged station near Bundoran.
The recommendation was rejected at a special meeting of Donegal County Council to discuss the proposal which has caused uproar in Ballyshannon and Bundoran since it was announced earlier this month.
Over 30 people opposed to the closure travelled from south Donegal to attend the meeting. Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc McSharry was among those who attended the meeting.
The recommendation from the council came following a consultant's report by UK-based consultants ORH. The report had recommended that two pumps are maintained at either two stations or at one merged station.
Chief Fire Officer Joseph McTaggart outlined the reasoning behind the decision.
He said the recombination had been made on the basis of the independent review and applied professional judgment to take account of a number of factors that were outside the scope of the review.
The recommendation was for a single merged station to house two-pumps, two jeeps and an aerial appliance which will cover the combined Ballyshannon and Bundoran fire station area. This would be staffed by 15 firefighters, down from the 18 currently based at the two stations.
The new merged station would be sited at a location between the Drumacrin and Finner roundabouts in Bundoran.
Councillors from south Donegal - Barry O’Neill, John Campbell, Micheal Naughton and Noel Jordan - voiced their opposition.
Councillors voted by 22 votes to none on a motion from Cllr O’Neill to refute the recommendation from the chief fire officer.
The council also passed a motion that it will go to the minister seeking funding cooperation for a fire station in each town.