GARDA Commissioner Martin Callinan has promised that the next phase of garda station closures will not reduce the service they provide to rural communities.
He said he and his senior advisers could understand the sensitivities involved and the fear of people living in rural areas.
And the fall-out from the closures had dominated the agenda at the recent half-yearly of senior officers at the Garda College in Templemore.
They intended to ensure that the level of service provided after the closures would be at least equal to what was there previously, if not better.
Mr Callinan was speaking at the college this afternoon where seven Scott medals for bravery were presented to six serving gardai and one retired superintendent.
He confirmed that more stations would be shut down.
His report and recommendations on closures is expected to be with Justice Minister Alan Shatter by the end of the month.
Last month the Irish Independent disclosed that about 80 stations would be closed down in the next phase.
A total of 39 stations have already been shut this year.