Garda phones can’t cope

PORTLAOISE Garda Station sometimes receives so many telephone calls from members of the public that the switchboard can not cope with the volume of callers.

PORTLAOISE Garda Station sometimes receives so many telephone calls from members of the public that the switchboard can not cope with the volume of callers.

Inspector Martin Harrington revealed the inadequacy of the current telephone system at the recent policing committee meeting, in response to a query from Cllr Rotimi Adebari.

Cllr Adebari said he had received complaints from people who claimed they had rang the garda station only to find there was no one on the other end of the phone.

The councillor asked the inspector if this was due to a shortage of staff.

“It’s due to staff and the serious volume of calls,” Insp Harrington replied.

“We carried out a survey last year and when there was a huge volume of calls the switchboard couldn’t deal with it.”

The inspector informed the committee that the phones in Portlaoise are sometimes diverted to the Abbeyleix Garda Station and he reminded people to call the emergency line of 999 for emergency calls rather than calling the station’s number.