THIRTY-ONE GARDA stations have been earmarked for closure this year, but Minister Alan Shatter told the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors yesterday that further closures should be expected.
“Can anyone plausibly argue that we absolutely need 703 Garda stations in such a small country?” he asked, saying that improved transport and communications means that there is no longer a need for this many stations.
However, some have expressed concern that if their local station closes, they will have to wait longer for a garda response in an emergency, while Age Action has warned of an increased sense of isolation among older people with station closures. The Garda Representative Association has warned that the closures will seriously change the nature of policing in Ireland.
What do you think? Should we cut back further on the number of garda stations to save state funds?