FORMER Kilrush Superintendent and current General Secretary of the Association of Garda Superintendents, Michael Comyns has said they are in the dark as to how the newly proposed Clare/Tipperary Garda Division will work.
The West Clare native, said, “We don’t know because we don’t have enough information. We have been given a broad outline of what’s planned but we haven’t been given full details of what is going to happen”.
The two divisions which are to merge, will lead to the loss of three superintendents across the two counties, and could lead to at least one going from Clare, the likelihood being that the position of superintendent in Kilrush going.
“Our biggest question is what happens the three superintendents that are surplus to requirements and we have asked the commissioner that question, and it can’t be answered at the moment. Policing wise, it’s very hard to see the sense in policing from Loop Head to the south side of Clonmel, there’s very little in common between Clonmel district and Kilrush district. If we got more detail, and if we knew the process and how this is going to work we’d have a better idea,” he said.
He added that because there is no information superintendents do not know if they will be expected to do more work, which seems extremely likely and Superintendent Comyns said he sees the whole superintendent’s job description changing.
“It’s hard to be positive or hard to be negative without knowing exactly what’s happening and there is no indication as to when we will find out,” he said.
He explained that those on the ground will see an increase in frontline policing simply because garda numbers are increasing. But the knock on effect of the divisional changes means less access to garda management.
“One impact I can see going back to my days in Kilrush, but there may be a superintendent responsible for community engagement but it is not possible for him to attend all the local meetings in Kilrush say that I attended when I was there. Even for local businesses, you’d always meet the business people, chamber of commerce, councillors, so I don’t know how that will work as it is part of the unknown,” he concluded.