THERE were two motions before this month’s Metropolitan District meeting calling for the provision of a new Garda station in Castletroy.
Labour councillor Elena Secas and Fianna Fáil councillor Joe Pond both had proposals on the agenda calling for the local authority to write to the Office of Public Works (OPW) to request that a site be identified for a new station as a priority in Castletroy.
This call came just weeks after Superintendent Andrew Lacey of Roxboro Road Garda Station told council members at a special meeting that a new station is not the answer.
At a special meeting on anti-social behaviour, Supt Lacey explained that Garda resources are at the crux of everything.
“Having a Garda station is one thing, but having Gardaí to be in that Garda station is another thing. I am responsible for that side of the city and if I have a Garda station there then I need to be able to staff it and I need to put Gardaí in to operate it,” he said at the time.
Supt Lacey said he could see a use for “something like a Garda office or some type of visibility so that people in those communities can have some place to go and meet a guard”, but shot down the need for a full station in favour of an additional “five or six guards” in the local force.
Fine Gael councillor Michael Murphy reminded Cllrs Secas and Pond at this month’s Metropolitan area meeting of Supt Lacey’s comments.
As a Limerick City East-based representative, Cllr Murphy said he would support them in this matter. However, he had another, more immediate short-term solution to the problem.
“I would also like to point out, for those who don’t know, that in Castleconnell, we have had a Garda station for as long as I am alive. We have currently seven Gardaí working out of Castleconnell and they are crying out for an improvement of their facilities,” he pointed out.
“They cover Castletroy and Monaleen, so they are the Garda station at the moment for Castletroy and Monaleen. I would once again, on behalf of the Garda station in Castleconnell, ask that they get upgraded facilities.”
Cllr Murphy took the view that while plans for a new Castletroy Garda station “sound lovely” coming up to an election, it won’t necessarily happen anytime soon.
‘We did recently have a special meeting with Gardaí to speak on anti-social behaviour, lead by the Willie O’Dea wing of Fianna Fáil, and we were told at that meeting by Superintendent Andrew Lacey that he would have difficulty staffing any facility in Castletroy at the moment.
“I would say support Castleconnell Garda Station and, in time to come, I have no problem with a facility for Gardaí in Castletroy,” he concluded.