Claims Case For Retaining Garda HQ in Ennis Is “No-Brainer”

The Chair of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee is arguing that the case for retaining the Garda Divisional Headquarters in Ennis is a “no-brainer”.

The new Garda Operational plan, revealed by the Garda Commissioner, has confirmed the amalgamation of the Clare and Tipperary divisions, but its not yet clear how senior staffing numbers and resources will be affected.

It’s led to concern that policing in this county will be negatively impacted.

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While this new plan from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris promises around 1,800 more front line Gardaí by 2021, it’s not without it’s critics.

That’s because of changes including the merging of the Clare and Tipperary Divisions, a change which will come into affect within the next three years.

But it still isn’t clear whether the new Division’s Chief Superintendent, and its Division Headquarters, will be in Ennis or in a town in Tipperary.

Commissioner Drew Harris has committed to meeting with Clare’s Joint Policing Committee in the Autumn to discuss the changes, and today its Chair, Sixmilebridge Fine Gael Councillor John Crowe, insisted the onus is now on local political representatives to make the case for Clare.

But another former Clare Mayor says he believes the decision on where the Chief Superintendent representing the Clare Garda Divison will be based has already been made.

Councillor Pat Hayes, who’s also a member of the JPC, fears the impending changes will impact negatively on local communities across the county.

As part of the changes, it’s likely that there will also be a reduction in the number of Superintendents.

And President of the Association of Garda Sergeant and Inspectors, Cormac Moylan says there’s still no indication that Clare’s high ranking officer won’t be transferred out of this county.

The Road Safety Authority meanwhile, is “hugely concerned” that the role of roads policing has been “erased” in operational changes to An Garda Síochána.

CEO Moyagh Murdock is demanding an immediate meeting with Commissioner Harris to address their concerns.