Dáil Éireann - Volume 332 - 26 January, 1982

Written Answers. - Tyrrellspass (Westmeath) Garda Appointment.

369. Mr. Keegan asked the Minister for Justice if he will make arrangements to have a Garda in residence at Tyrrellspass, County Westmeath in order to combat vandalism in the area.

370. Mr. Keegan asked the Minister for Justice if he is aware of local demand to have a Garda stationed at Tyrrellspass, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Justice (Mr. J. Mitchell): With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 369 and 370 together.

I have had representations from the local community about the policing arrangements for Tyrrellspass. The position is that the detailed deployment of members of the force is a matter to be decided primarily by the Commissioner. The precise arrangements for policing particular local areas are made by or in consultation with the local Garda officers.

The Garda authorities have informed me that they consider that the current arrangement whereby the Tyrrellspass area is served from Rochfortbridge station makes the best use of Garda resources and provides an adequate service. The area also receives attention from [89] the district patrol car and the traffic unit car based at Mullingar.

The Garda authorities have also informed me that they have had no recent reports of vandalism in the Tyrrellspass area.

As regards the question of arranging for a Garda to reside in Tyrrellspass, the position is that, save where official accommodation is provided, the accepted practice in the Garda Síochána is that a member is free to live where he chooses provided he does not live at an unreasonable distance from his station and I do not think that a case for curtailing this freedom has been established.