Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
442. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans for Garda stations in County Cork; his plans to amend opening times; his plans to protect rural residents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34279/11]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): A final decision on whether station closures will take place, and if so what stations, will be taken in the context of the Commissioner’s draft Policing Plan for 2012 and will be announced shortly. The policing plan will also be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
The Garda Commissioner has therefore quite properly been reviewing all aspects of the Garda Síochána’s policing model, including the deployment of personnel, the utilisation of modern technologies and the operation of Garda stations, both in terms of opening hours and possible closures.
The purpose of the review is to ensure that Garda resources are managed and deployed in the most appropriate manner to meet existing and emerging policing requirements and to maintain Garda frontline services — which is consistent with Government policy.
Clearly an examination of the opening hours, and in some cases the viability, of stations will form part of this. In that regard the Garda Commissioner will have to consider whether, in appropriate cases, a better policing service could be delivered to a local community by having Garda members out on patrol rather than in a station.
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