Belfast Telegraph

Garda stations to close under cuts

Thirty-one Garda stations are to close, while a further 10 will operate on reduced opening hours, under cost-saving plans announced by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

The minister said his department had to contribute to the overall reduction in public expenditure.

He said the closures came as part of a wider review of the justice sector and argued that modern policing did not require "a bricks and mortar presence in every locality".

The minister confirmed areas across the country would be affected, but he said communities worried about the cuts would continue to receive a professional policing service. He added: "The number of closures being announced is very small compared to the 703 Garda stations listed throughout the country which include 47 stations in Dublin."

In the Dublin Metropolitan Region, stations will close at Rush, Whitehall, Dalkey and Harcourt Terrace. In the Western Region the stations for closure are Corrandulla in Galway; Glenisland, Tourmakeady, Mulranny and Bellacorrik in Mayo. Loughglynn and Cootehall in Roscommon/Longford will shut, along with Carrigaholt in Clare.

In the Southern Region stations will close in Shanagolden and Doon in Limerick; Glenville in Cork North; and Knocknagree, Ballyfeard, Goleen and Inchigeela in Cork West. Ballylongford, Moyvane and An Clochan in Kerry will also shut.

In the Northern Regions stations will close in Clontibret and Smithborough in Monaghan; Tullyvin in Cavan; Culdaff and Dunkineely in Donegal; and Kiltyclogher, Bunnanadden and Drumkeeran in Sligo/Leitrim.

In the South Eastern Region a station will close in Baldwinstown, Wexford.

The minister said eight stations which are already non-operational will not reopen. They are: Castletownsend and Ballygurteen in Cork West; Ballinure and Ballinderry in Tipperary; Ballywilliam in Wexford; Doochary in Donegal; Geashill in Laois/Offaly and Tarmonbarry in Roscommon/Longford.

Public opening hours will be reduced in Dublin Metropolitan Region stations in: Cabinteely, Stepaside, Kill O' the Grange, Sundrive, Terenure, Cabra, Malahide, Santry, Howth, and Donnybrook. The stations' 24-hour service will end, with the venues closed to the public between 10pm and 8am.

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