CALLING all cars or, to be precise, calling our one unmarked patrol car.
That’s the situation in Mountmellick/Clonaslee, as confirmed by Garda Sergeant Ingrid Moore at a local Joint Policing Committee meeting last Thursday evening.
Proposed by Cllr Marc Connolly, seconded by Chairman Cllr Pat Bowe, members unanimously resolved to write to Justice Minister Alan Shatter in an effort to improve the Garda fleet in the Mountmellick area.
Replying to Cllr Ollie Payne, Sergt Moore said Mountmellick Gardai had an unmarked patrol car and this would remain the case for the foreseeable future. Clonaslee no longer had a marked patrol car, she stated. She added: “This reflects the overall situation in the country.”
Cllr Paddy Bracken: `”We are down a car. We have an unmarked car. Some other area benefits from the car we had. Mountmellick is suffering as a result. We are down one Garda in Clonaslee.”
Sergt Moore: “The Garda in Clonaslee is effectively mostly attached to Mountmellick station.”
Cllr Bracken: “Effectively, then, Clonaslee is without a Garda.”
Sergt Moore: “Because of manpower reasons in Mountmellick, he is predominantly here. Clonaslee station is open as often as possible.”
Cllr Bracken: “Clonaslee has a lesser policing presence. What we are going to see very shortly is that Clonaslee is going to be closed as a station.”
Sergt Moore: “I cannot predict what the Garda Commissioner is going to decide. There has been absolutely no talk of closing Clonaslee. Anything can change in a very short space of time. We have a patrol car to service the needs of the greater area of Clonaslee and Mountmellick. Mountmellick will not be left without a patrol car.”
Cllr Bracken: “I think the presence of a marked patrol car has a greater effect.”
Cllr Bobby Delaney wondered would local Gardai be left without cars in emergency cases.
Sergt Moore: “That is not going to happen.”