Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway Eugene Murphy has called on the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to re-open Tarmonbarry Garda Station as part of a Garda Station review in the programme for Government.
Deputy Murphy made the comments during Questions on Promised Legislation in the Dáil this week. Tarmonbarry is one of seven stations in the constituency which were closed since 2012.
Under the terms of the Programme for Government, a new pilot scheme was launched to reopen six Garda stations.
Speaking in the Dáil this week, Deputy Murphy said: “I wish to refer to the clear commitment in the programme for Government to reopen six Garda stations. It is said that two out of three is not bad but one out of six is very poor. I love my capital city. I love Dublin and I have lots of friends here, but the one thing I want for my people in Roscommon is equality with Stepaside.
"Therefore, I ask the Taoiseach to reopen the Garda station in Tarmonbarry, County Roscommon. It should never have been closed. The village is located on the River Shannon and it is on a national primary route. The area has had a significant population increase of 30% in the past 15 years. The Garda station should be reopened. When will that happen? It is included in the commitments as one of the six pilot Garda stations to be reopened?”
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar replied: “The commitment was to open six Garda stations in urban and rural areas as part of a pilot scheme to see whether the re-opening of the stations has an impact on crime levels in those areas. However, the Government is not going to make a decision on which ones are opened and which are not.”
Deputy Murphy noted that Garda resources across Galway-Roscommon were raided under Fine Gael and Labour. “The number of officers on the ground has fallen by almost 10% since 2010. Fear levels have increased, particularly in areas which have seen their stations close. A strong Garda presence is an extremely important tool in the fight against crime, and these communities have lost a vital resource. Many people are now choosing not to report minor crimes as it involves travelling to another town where there is a Garda station.
“Fianna Fáil secured a commitment in the Programme for Government to increase Garda numbers to 15,000 and we will continue to pursue measures to tackle crime and protect our communities,” concluded Deputy Murphy.