New Granard Garda chief looks to the future

They say there is no substitute for experience.

They say there is no substitute for experience.

And new Granard Superintendent Ian Lackey is a case in point. A former serving member of Britain’s Metropolitan Police, the Dubliner has spent much of the past two decades dividing his time between operational and everyday policing.

Stints in Kildare, Naas, Tallaght and more recently inside the strategic surroundings of Garda Headquarters in Dublin undoubtedly taught him well.

Indeed, a matter of months after entering Harcourt Street, he secured promotion to the rank of inspector before eventually going one step further and on to superintendent level.

Based in his new office in Granard some two months after arriving in the post, Supt Lackey said the move was one that he had been expecting and secretly hopng for.

“Based on where vacancies were coming up there was probably seven or eight places I could have ended up. This would have been one of my preferred options because from a purely geographical point of view the others would have been much further away.”

His late father, John Lackey was a proud native of Ballinalee and with a chain of cousins still residing in the area, you get the feeling the new Granard Garda chief couldn’t be happier with his new surroudings.

“There is a connection there alright,” he agrees. “ I am delighted to be here and it’s (Granard) a fine station. The staff here are probably that little more experienced than you would find in a lot of the Dublin stations and a lot of them that are here have come from service in other places.”

In his very first day in Granard, Supt Lackey attended a meeting of Granard Town Council’s Joint Policing Committee, a forum which he is very enthusiastic about.

“There seems to be very good feedback from it and it is something I am looking forward to attending when the next one comes around in July.”

His tone changes somewhat when the issue of organised crime and how the downfall of the Celtic Tiger years has impacted on predominantly rural based towns like Granard and Edgeworthstown.

“I think the biggest challenge is how certain types of crime seem to be climbing like theft and burglary. Others like drunkenness, public order and assault type offences have actually gone down and that could be because people are not going out.

“In this area there are a number of repeat offenders and we are looking at that. By the nature of this district we have a national primary route going through it so you do get a lot of visiting criminals as well. In reality Granard in the middle of the night at high speeds is well less than an hour from Dublin. In 2011 criminals are far more transient,” he added.

While that view is no doubt shared by many of his colleagues for the moment, however, the affable Dubliner has set his sights on doing what he does best-tackling crime.