Sunday 26 May 2019

Former Mell school to become garda station - for a week!

Community centre will be important garda base for the 2018 Fleadh

Hubert Murphy

Trinity Street and Mell is set to become the safest place in Drogheda - at least for a week.

As part of the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2018 - running from August 12-19 - the former St Joseph's NS, Mell, is to become a garda station, handling every aspect of the Fleadh.

Supt Andrew Watters told the Joint Policing Committee that a team will be working out of the former school.

'It will be a stand alone venue and they'll even eat there,' he said.

Anybody arrested and due to be held for 24 hours will be taken to Dundalk.

He also said a court will be held each day if necessary.

The garda reserve will be employed where necessary but the key to the policing of the Fleadh is that all leave has been denied for the week of the event - in Drogheda, Ardee and Dundalk.

Some officers will work 9am to 9pm.

He confirmed that meetings were ongoing with the event management team in relation to the Traffic Management Plan. Routes like the road to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital will be kept open, but there will be road closures in other areas.

'Potentially we are looking at roads being closed from 10am to 1am.

'We have to consider the business community and the likes of cash escorts and ATMs,' he added.

Cllr Paul Bell said there was a concern that with so much emphasis on the Fleadh, there could be issues with petty crime and public order.

'There are fears that gardai will be unable to answer calls to other crimes.'

However, the superintendent said that they had looked at all the resources and there would be three units operating, along with the traffic corps.

'People will be going to tourist areas like Monasterboice and Newgrange and those are a big part of our plan.'

Cllr Joanna Byrne also asked about the need to keep emergency services in the loop when it came to possible road closures and was assured that was being done.

Drogheda Independent