The Killaloe Garda District has lost two sergeants and two gardaí to retirements since June 1, with just two replacements being provided to fill these vacancies.
While the reduced numbers will not mean station closures in the short term, it will mean Mountshannon Garda Station will not open as frequently as it before due to the retirement of the resident garda attached there.
Three of the four retirees left in the past month, these included Tulla native Garda Pat McGrath, who was stationed at Mountshannon Garda Station, Garda Liam O’Donoghue stationed at Scariff garda station and Sergeant Gerry Mulqueen, stationed in Killaloe.
Speaking about the retirements, Chief Superintendent John Kerin said, “I’m sorry to have lost three good police officers in the Killaloe Garda District. All three have served in their localities for significant periods. They were well known and well respected within the communities they served and they are going to be a loss to the communities and they are going to be a loss to the Garda organisation.
“I want to thank them for their service and wish them well in their retirement.”
Sergeant Annette Ryan has taken up a position in Killaloe Garda Station this past week, replacing Sergeant Mulqueen. Meanwhile, Mountshannon will be served by Scariff and Killaloe district gardaí for the time being.
“We are looking to see if we can transfer someone else within the garda division to the Killaloe Garda Distrist to help out there.
“We are fortunate in that the people who retired in that district last year were replaced, so their numbers haven’t been impacted until now, so it’s just a matter of juggling the resources we’ve got,” Chief Superintendent Kerin said.
Inspector John O’Sullivan, district officer in Killaloe, explained that Scariff, Tulla and Mountshannon Garda stations are all part of the one community policing hub under the direction of the Scariff sergeant.
As such, he explained that the three stations combine and work together to put on patrols at night-time and provide cover for each station when other members are off. This practice will continue into the future.
He said Mountshannon Garda Station will maintain opening hours facilitated by the gardaí within this hub but he did accept that the opening hours at the station will “not be as frequent as they were”.
Inspector O’Sullivan said he was happy that another new garda is to take up a post in Scariff this Friday and said he is “hopeful I will get someone” to cover the vacancy in Mountshannon.