Swinford Garda Station needs to be reinstated and fully resourced immediately - Senator Rose Conway Walsh
Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has this week raised the limited operational hours of Swinford Garda Station and the moving of the Garda HQ for the district to Claremorris asking why should Stepaside be any different from Swinford.
The Mayo Senator said:
‘’I am asking that Swinford Garda Station be reinstated and that the resources both financial and personnel be made available. If Stepaside can be reopened just because it is in Minister Ross's constituency then the same must happen for Swinford.‘’Swinford Garda Station is in close proximity to two main national routes the N17 and the N5. It is also close to Ireland West Airport Knock which caters to over 700,000 passengers per annum."From a safety strategic viewpoint this Garda Station needs to be fully operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The bottom line is that it needs to be re-established as a district Headquarters.‘’The negative impact on Swinford and the surrounding area of the closure in 2013 of the Swinford District Headquarters is now plain to be seen. "Prior to this, a superintendent and ancillary staff covered a large area in East Mayo which included Charlestown, Foxford, Kiltimagh, Kilkelly, Kilmovee and Mount Falcon. The station was then amalgamated into one Garda division, made part time and the HQ was moved to Claremorris."It is impossible for a comprehensive service to be delivered to all these areas when the station only opens only opens Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and 8pm to 9pm, on Saturday from 7pm to 8pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 1pm. Even those limited hours have often been denied due to lack of personnel." "The cost saving measures which forced the downgrading of Swinford and the closure of other stations may prove to be very costly in the medium and long term. "This is a time when public confidence in An Garda Siochana needs to be restored. One way of doing this is to have a consistent Garda presence in communities where trust can be maintained and people can feel safe in their homes and their businesses."I will continue to work with the people in Swinford who have contacted me to have their Station reinstated."