Removal of Donegal Garda station ‘not an option’
Serious concern has been expressed regarding the policing of Carndonagh and wider North Inishowen.
Speaking to Donegal Live, an exasperated Donegal Councillor Albert Doherty said: “The removal of a Garda Station and presence from Carndonagh is not an option.
“I have written to the Chief Superintendent strongly reiterating the fact that Carndonagh and North Inishowen need a Garda station. Garda personnel stationed in North Inishowen also require a safe, secure, and modern workplace.
“At a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting two years ago, the Chief Superintendent’s correspondence to secretariat member, Kathleen Browne, confirmed, in response to my highlighting the need for a new modern station, that Carndonagh Garda station was a ‘small building’ and had been the subject of ‘adverse health and safety reports.’
“’Issues of station security arose in the past both for Garda members working in the station and members of the public.’ In reality, Carndonagh Garda station was ‘not fit for purpose,’” said Cllr Doherty.
According to Cllr Doherty, two years later, the same “shameful situation remains.”
He said: “Carndonagh has a functioning Garda station. Presently, I have been advised that, once again, Clonmany Garda station is to accommodate the current station party of Carndonagh and a policing service will be provided in Carndonagh. It is only proper that the refurbished Clonmany station is reactivated.
“However, Carndonagh the largest town in North Inishowen, needs a Garda community station available, contactable and visible in the town and its environs.
“Carndonagh is the central town of Inishowen. It is the headquarters for the Municipal Council. It is the location of the local public service offices in Malin street, a ‘One Stop Shop’ for community services. Garda services must remain as and at the core of such services.
“Garda stations have closed in Malin Town and Culdaff, yet public transport, which does exist presently, provides a complement of services from these areas to and from Carndonagh. Carndonagh is the core education centre with six primary schools and a second level community school with one thousand pupils. Carndonagh serves the Agricultural sector with Marts and co-ops; the business sector and banks; the Inishowen Community with its many supermarkets and shopping centre outlets and it is the weekend social venue for many with its many pubs and restaurant outlets,” said Cllr Doherty.
The Sinn Fein Councillor was adamant Carndonagh required the restoration of the Court Services and to a town with a consistent, accessible, and visible Garda presence.
He added: “Leaving Carndonagh without a garda station or a garda presence is not an option.
“I keenly await a response from the Chief Superintendent and an assurance of the Garda’s continued commitment to Carndonagh and North Inishowen,” said Cllr Doherty.
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