THE Minister for Justice gave a confirmation this week that Ballinspittle Garda Station would finally re-open this summer.
Locals had mounted a campaign since junior minister Jim Daly had promised the garda station, which had been on the government’s closure list, was slated for re-opening as far back as autumn 2017.
But during a visit to West Cork, Minister Charlie Flanagan promised the garda station would re-open as soon as current refurbishments were complete – this summer.
‘I am very pleased to have met with the local groups to bring certainty to the situation and I’m very glad to report that the OPW will proceed with great haste,’ he told The Southern Star. ‘We expect that the works will be completed by the end of the summer. The project is a substantial refurbishment.’
He also announced that Kinsale Garda Station will be open on a 24-hour basis from April 1st. He said the demand was there for a full-time station, especially given the influx of tourists to the town.
The ongoing controversy over the provision of a building for a Protected Services Unit – a garda unit that would deal with sensitive cases like sexual assault, child abuse and trafficking, – was also put to rest.
The Minister said the unit would shortly open in West Cork, but that the location had not yet been confirmed.
However, trained personnel will be put in place to man the unit as soon as it opens.
‘I have completed the work started by my predecessor Frances Fitzgerald with the Victims of Crime Act and the Domestic Violence Act, which have both placed victims at the centre of the legislation.’
He added: ‘I am pleased that trainee gardaí in Templemore will have new and modern modules and experienced gardaí will also have an input and will keep training ongoing and I am working with the Garda Representative Association and the Commissioner to ensure that such training is available.’
He said he had also met with the West Cork Women Against Violence and praised the ‘excellent service’ they provide in terms of professional support and volunteers in helping the women of West Cork.
Meanwhile, Schull garda station re-opened this week after refurbishment work.
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