‘The rob­bers are back down the M9 be­fore you get a re­sponse. It’s a joke’

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS -

SINCE their garda sta­tion shut its door four years ago the peo­ple of Leigh­lin­bridge have been forced to rely on a part-time sta­tion in Ba­ge­nal­stown, 5km in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to the mo­tor­way lo­cals fear is be­ing used by trav­el­ling crim­i­nals; Car­low Garda Sta­tion, more than 12km away cross county, and Tul­low, over 20km away.

The clos­est sta­tion is six min­utes away by car. Car­low and Tul­low are 15 min­utes and 20 min­utes away re­spec­tively.

One man who works in a shop said he rings Ba­ge­nal­stown first and, if that fails, is trans­ferred to ei­ther Car­low or Tul­low.

‘Sure the lads who did the rob­bing are down the mo­tor­way be­fore you get a re­sponse. It’s a joke,’ he said.

Another man told how Ba­ge­nal­stown cov­ers an area that ex­tends as far as Myshall – 20km from Leigh­lin­bridge.

‘Even when you do get through there, the one car they have could be cov­er­ing an in­ci­dent in Myshall, but you need them in Leigh­lin­bridge.

‘If our sta­tion does open, we need gar­daí to po­lice it.’

He added: ‘Car­low is fur­ther down the mo­tor­way but, if an in­ci­dent hap­pens here, they re­spond here. If they were to cut some­one off on the mo­tor­way, you’d have to be able to sup­ply them with the de­tails they need, like car type and reg­is­tra­tion num­ber.’

A re­tired garda told how he re­mem­bers a time when there was a sergeant and three gar­daí sta­tioned in Leigh­lin­bridge.

‘I was sta­tioned in it. It is a real shame it is closed. We are sup­posed to work in the com­mu­nity. ’ Another lo­cal added that the only garda they see in Leigh­lin­bridge is a young garda who lives in the town but is sta­tioned else­where.

‘The only time we see a garda round here is when she is drop­ping her chil­dren to school.’

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