Additional Gardaí needed in Ardnacrusha

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Cllr Cathal Crowe

A public meeting has been organised with senior Gardaí to highlight local demands for additional resources to be deployed in the Ardnacrusha area.

The meeting in the Tailrace Bar on Monday, February 18 at 7pm has been organised by local county councillor Cathal Crowe who has also written to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris calling for additional Gardaí to be assigned to Ardnacrusha Garda Station.

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Stating that the Ardnacrusha Garda sub-district covers an area of 80 square kilometres, Cllr Crowe told the Limerick Post that “there are around 12,000 people living there and the local Garda Station covers two district court areas and two Garda divisions.”

Ardnacrusha Garda Station was opened in 1925, and for many decades the locality had a far smaller population but had four Gardaí and a sergeant.

“There are now only three Gardaí stationed there,” he explained.

“These Gardaí are highly valued in the community but we want to see more on-the-ground policing. Therefore I am appealing to Commissioner Harris to assign at least two additional guards to the sub-district.”

“Two guards are stationed in Ardnacrusha with the third recently retired and I understand that the process is already underway to replace him.”

“Although in County Clare, the area is right on the doorstep of Limerick City. It has a high population base and is very urbanized in places.”

“The rostering schedule means that for 40 per cent of the week there is no guard on duty. During this time, cover is provided from Mayorstone Garda station in Limerick City.

However, in most cases, Mayorstone Gardaí do not get near   the communities that fall within the Ardnacrusha Sub-District because of pressures in the city suburbs and staffing limitations.”

“I  recently met with Superintendent Derek Smart of Henry Street Garda Station, to outline my concerns for staff shortages in the district. Superintendent Smart and his senior colleagues have set up a specialized sex crimes unit which incorporates ten Garda personnel. However, he will not be able to free-up guards for deployment in Ardnacrusha Sub-District.”

“Ardnacrusha needs at least two dedicated community guards and a full-time Garda presence for peace of mind and safety in the community,” Cllr Crowe declared.

Other issues that will be discussed at Monday night’s meeting include neighbourhood watch schemes and home security.

by Rebecca MacMahon

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