Residents in Ballymore Eustace and Kill will this week voice their opposition to the closure of their garda stations.
A public meeting has been organised in Kill this evening, Tuesday January 22 and the Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association (CDA) is also planning to deal with the matter next Monday January 28. Last week, gardai confirmed Donard and Hollywood will also shut their doors on January 31 while Ballitore will close on January 25.
“The revised structures will continue to support our community policing philosophy through the clustering of services at policing hubs. The centralisation of services will facilitate the introduction of an enhanced grid patrolling system that will be operational and intelligence led,” read the statement.
“This patrol system will ensure that a high visibility and community oriented policing service continues to be delivered throughout the country and will yield the following benefits: increased Garda visibility and patrol hours, increased mobility and flexibility within an area resulting in an improved policing service to the public, enhanced co-ordination of Garda activity resulting in a greater visibility and presence in the communities, more effective use of limited resources across a wider area, and continued Garda presence in communities.”
Local community activist, Noel McCarthy said that people in Ballymore are very concerned.
“We have Supt. Pat Mangan coming and we have a security consultant as well as a number of other people lined up. The CDA are putting it together. We are still campaigning against the closure. People are very worried about it. They are frightened,” he said.
He said the fact that the gardai in Kilcullen or Naas would now have to serve Ballymore Eustace and the lack of a garda on duty in the area amounted to an emergency response, not a police system. He questioned if there will be a review down the line to see if the decision can be reversed.
The meeting takes place at 8pm in the resource centre and everyone is welcome.
Fianna Fail representative, James Lawless has organised a crime meeting in Kill tonight at 8.30pm in the Dew Drop Inn. He is concerned about the Kill, Ballymore area leading into West Wicklow being entirely exposed due to the additional closures of Donard and Hollywood. He said he was opposed to the closure and does not see the cost benefits.
“I am hosting the forum to get people’s views on what can be done. Maybe a community alert system is something that we can explore if people are interested,” he said.
Cllr. Martin Miley stressed; “Three has been enormous opposition here to the closure of Ballitore. We are woefully disappointed with what has happened. I have been talking with the gardai and we have secured clinics in the library in Balytore, that’s not to say that the closure won’t have an enormous affect. I have put down a motion for the council meeting on Monday to ask the Minister to reverse his decision.” He also criticised government party representatives for “their silence on the matter.”
- Niamh O’Donoghue