NewsLocal NewsCommunities in fear highlights need for garda stationsBy admin – January 29, 2013 651 Email AS GARDAI withdraw from the talks on a proposed extension to the Croke Park deal, and as fear begins to show throughout the country in light of the murder of det garda Adrian Donohue last week, TD’s, local representatives and the public at large are calling on Minister Alan Shatter to put a halt on the closure of 100 garda stations in Irleand, and six in Limerick. Willie O’Dea, Fianna Fail TD, has slammed the closure of Mary Street Garda station this week calling it “a dreadful decision by the Government. The fact that this is one of the oldest Garda stations in the country and is located in the heart of a regeneration area, parts of which in the past have been unfortunately associated with gangland activity, makes the decision all the more ludicrous.”Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Previously, councillor John Gilligan, said that the “garda retreat from the inner city is a worrying development”. Niall Collins, FF spokesperson on Justice has again called on Minister Shatter to “put aside his plan to close the garda stations, to cut resources and to further cut the member numbers. On Budget Day last December, as part of the Garda Consolidations programme, it was announced that districts would be merged and stations would close including six in Limerick. Galbally, Kilfinnane, Castletown/Conyers, Kilmeedy, Tournafoulla and the city centre station at Mary Street. Niall Collins said that; “The Minister sneakily announced this slash and burn on Budget day, hoping it seems that people wouldn’t pay too much attention. He is sorely mistaken. Removing the garda presence from our communities on such a large-scale at a time when the rate of burglaries has increased makes absolutely no sense. The presence of a local garda station, however small, acts as a deterrent to criminals who target vulnerable households. “Limerick has fared one of the worst in Minister Shatter’s hit list. We will have 6 less garda stations and many of our communities will have lost their local station. Minister Shatter countered that; “It is, of course, previous Fianna Fail led Governments which are responsible for the financial disaster that has impacted on the State and has so severely effected the lives of everyone who resides in the State”, adding that it was the previous Government that agreed with the Troika the expenditure reductions and reductions in Garda numbers.“If I were Deputy Niall Collins, I would refrain from making hypocritical comment and engaging in self-serving disingenuous political rhetoric based on the assumption that the general public is suffering from amnesia. It is time that he acknowledged that it is his Party that is responsible for the position in which we find ourselves”.But as the political football continues to be kicked around, Deputy O’Dea reminded that the fear of gang reprisals and an upsurgance is still very real according to his information. “As I have stated previously, it is my understanding that some of the remnants of the gangs in Limerick are getting together in an attempt to re-establish themselves to their former strength and with the closure of Garda stations like Mary Street combined with the reduction in overall Garda numbers, this could bring the gangland problem right back to where it was a few years ago.“Lets not forget, that it was as a result of long hours of painstaking policing by Gardai, including those based at Mary St, that the problem has thankfully abated in recent times, but as we witnessed with the callous murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in Louth last weekend, gangland crime is a constant threat to society.“Since 2011, Limerick has lost 40 members of An Garda Síochána who have not been replaced and there are no Detective Inspectors at all in the Limerick division and there is a reduction of 18 in the number of Sergeants.”Deputy O’Dea concluded, “The closure of Mary street Garda station is another open invitation from Minister Alan Shatter to potential gangland kingpins to takeover where predecessors left off. The underhand, dishonest way in which these cuts are being foisted upon An Garda Síochána tells us all we need to know about Mr. Shatter and his priorities. At a time when we should be maintaining all Garda stations and Garda strength in Limerick, we are now facilitating criminals to once again potentially gain the upper hand.” Facebook Advertisement Previous articleLimerick models launch new Gathering stampNext articleUL well beaten in Sigerson Cup admin Twitter Print WhatsApp Linkedin
Aaron Ramsey scored in stoppage time to break the resolve of Crystal Palace and give title contenders Arsenal a winning start to their league campaign.Managerless Palace looked set for a point but had forward Jason Puncheon sent off for a second offence in the 89th minute before Ramsey pounced.The visitors took a shock first-half lead when Brede Hangeland headed in.The Gunners equalised just before the break when Laurent Koscielny nodded home from Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick.Despite kicking off their Premier League challenge with a win, it was an inauspicious start having barely made Palace keeper Julian Speroni work for his wage.Apart from the two goals, the only other time the Palace stopper was called to save his team was when he pushed away Jack Wilshere’s drive in the first half. Credit for keeping Arsenal at bay should be given to Palace caretaker boss Keith Millen. The 47-year-old, originally from down the road in Croydon, was thrust into the hot-seat on Thursday following the shock departure of Tony Pulis.So having had less than 48 hours to plan Palace’s assault on their London rivals, Millen’s team did brilliantly to restrict the Gunners for so long.But their good work came undone in three minutes at the death, when first they were reduced to 10 men when Puncheon went in late on Nacho Monreal, before Ramsey grabbed the winner. The Wales midfielder was quickest to the loose ball after Mathieu Debuchy’s snap-shot had been saved.Wenger might point to the fact he did not have his full squad available for the opening match as a reason for the below-par display – only five of the many who spent their summer in Brazil started today.One of those absent was Germany’s World Cup winning defender Per Mertesacker, who might have made a better fist of preventing Hangeland from scoring. The Norway player, who had not scored in the previous three league season for Fulham, was inexplicably left by Sanchez to roam to the near post to meet Puncheon’s corner.However, just before half-time, the hero at the other end appeared to lose his bearings as Koscielny sneaked clear to connect with Sanchez’s lofted free-kick.It was a good Premier League debut for Arsenal’s £35m Chile forward, who worked well out wide in a four-man attacking midfield.But it was when one of the other players rested, France striker Olivier Giroud, was introduced in the second half that the Gunners looked like a team who could steal the points.And in the closing seconds, the club’s top scorer last season played a key role when he headed the ball across goal for Debuchy whose shot was saved, only for team-mate Ramsey to tuck in.