by Seamus Enright
Dowra, Killeshandra, Bawnboy, Ballinagh and Redhills garda stations are all set to close in the coming months; while Ballyconnell Garda Station is set to be downgraded, losing its district headquarter status, The Anglo-Celt can exclusively reveal.
The proposed changes are part of a district-wide review, which is set to recommend the imminent closure of the five rural garda stations in the county, while the fates of two other stations are in doubt - Stradone and Shercock.
Meanwhile, the Garda station in Ballyconnell is set to lose its status as district headquarters and the district itself amalgamated with that of neighbouring Cavan. That decision is expected to be confirmed in the next three months, but won't be carried out until after the other closures occur.
The loss of local Garda stations has been described as being "only the thin end of the wedge" by north-west Muintir na Tíre representative Vanessa Clarke.
"When one goes, it becomes common and then policy falls apart, which leads to no services at rural level," she told The Anglo-Celt.
For extensive coverage of garda cutbacks, the respone of the Garda Representative Association, and local political reaction and much more, see this week's Celt newspaper.