KCLR NewsNews & Sport

Leighlinbridge Cllr Michael Doran says his area “deserves” it’s own garda station while Carlow Town Cllr Fergal Browne thinks the funds might be better spent elsewhere

A meeting's been sought to clarify the situation

Leighlinbridge deserves its own Garda station.

That’s the view of Carlow’s Joint Policing Committee Chairperson.

Hopes had been high in the area that the building which previously housed gardaí would be refurbished and brought back into use and at last evening’s JPC meeting Deputy Jennifer Murnane O’Connor sought for this to be progressed.

But it seems the works had been costed at a quarter of a million euro, with prices rising, and if they do go ahead just one person’s likely to be stationed there.

Cllr Fergal Browne said if this is the case, the monies may be better spent elsewhere, telling KCLR News “I’m conscious that we have huge needs in Carlow Town within our current garda station in terms of getting works done and, for example, we need a lift there and we need to improve access for people with any kind of disability to gain access to the building and other works need to be done which are currently taking place so I think at the next joint policing committee meeting we may get a report to that effect and it’ll inform all of us to hopefully make the right decision in relation to extra police, garda presence around the county”.

He adds “We are entitled to ask the question ‘would an extra guard in Carlow or an extra guard in Bagenalstown have maybe a better outcome for the people in the area’, maybe it might not have and I know council colleagues might disagree with me on that front but it’s about proving the level of service for the public and certainly if current garda stations need improvements, which I’m sure they do, is it wise to spend it in one particular area, it’s a debate we’ll have to have at the county level, it’s all about improving outcomes for the general public and to make sure they have the service that they require and need”.

However, Leighlinbridge based Cllr Michael Doran says his area deserves its own service; “Yes it does and we want an update really from the gardai regarding the future status of the station so I’ve sought a meeting with the Chief Supt over the coming weeks to get a clear update regarding the future of the station”.

Cllr Doran adds “Due to Covid and, I suppose, garda restrictions and public expenditure there has been a delay in the future of the upgrading of the station at Leighlin again and the reopening of the station however a commitment was given to reopen the station and I look forward to what the Chief Superintendent has to say”.