One of Ireland’s first ever ban gardaí appointed, retiring Garda Imelda Gallagher, has lamented the closure of Bawnboy Garda Station in 2013, and other small rural garda stations like it.
She made the comment at her retirement function in the Keepers Arms in Bawnboy last Saturday night.
Bawnboy, where Imelda was stationed up until its closure, was among five garda stations in County Cavan to be closed in 2013 including Dowra, Killeshandra, Ballinagh and Redhills; while Tullyvin closed the previous year.
They were among 139 closures nationwide between 2012 and 2013 amid severe budget cutbacks.
“Unfortunately one person stations were being closed down – Bawnboy – I used to call it my station was closed and I was moved back to Ballyconnell,” said the Ballinamore native.
She does not think it was a good idea to close down the one person stations like Bawnboy. “You got to know the local people and the people got to know the local garda on the ground,” added Imelda.
When asked about the surge in rural crime in recent times, she said: “Crime has increased but I think that is down to the shortage of gardaí. I think there should be many more gardaí. People like myself have retired and have not been replaced.”
• For full report and pictures from Imelda’s retirement
function, see pages 16 & 17 of this week's Anglo-Celt.