Thursday, 8 February 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
87. Mr. Reynolds asked the Minister for Justice if she will approve the filling of vacancies for a one person rural Garda station in Newtowncashel, County Longford and the vacancy for Sergeant at Ballinalee, County Longford, in order to allay the fears of the local community. [2797/96]
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): The Garda authorities are responsible for the detailed allocation of Garda personnel and resources to different areas and they have informed me that the former resident garda at Newtowncashel retired on 10 September 1995. I understand that the vacant position has been advertised within the Garda Síochána in the Longford-Westmeath Division without success. It was subsequently advertised countrywide on 19 January 1996 and I am informed by the Garda authorities that while a replacement member has not yet been allocated to Newtowncashel it is intended that this vacancy will be filled as soon as possible. The  successful applicant will be required to occupy the official accommodation at Newtowncashel.
With regard to the position of sergeant at Ballinalee which became vacant on the retirement of the former sergeant on 28 January 1996, I understand that prior to his retirement the strength of the station was one sergeant and one garda. The garda resides within the Ballinalee community. Since 30 January 1996 a sergeant has been allocated to Edgeworthstown station with responsibility for the day-to-day running of Ballinalee sub-district. The Garda authorities do not propose to allocate a sergeant to Ballinalee Garda station at present. Nevertheless, they have assured me that these policing arrangements for Ballinalee will not lead to any diminution of service in the area.
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