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New garda station for Laytown confirmed

Pleased, but it must be a matter of urgency

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The current Laytown Garda station is in a small, former residential house at the entrance to an estate.

The current Laytown Garda station is in a small, former residential house at the entrance to an estate.

Cllr Tom Behan, Cllr Sharon Tolan, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

Cllr Tom Behan, Cllr Sharon Tolan, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

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The current Laytown Garda station is in a small, former residential house at the entrance to an estate.

droghedaindependent

It has been confirmed that Laytown is to receive its much-needed new garda station, as it has been included in the ten-year Garda Capital Plan.

The announcement was made as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee made a visit to the East Meath station on Monday, and the news has received a tentative welcome from local residents of Beach Park, where the current facility is located.

The site of the proposed new facility will be the responsibility of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and there is no timeline for the new station.

“I welcome the announcement from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris this evening that a new station is to be provided for Laytown,” said Minister McEntee. “The Government is committed to building stronger, safer communities including in East Meath”.

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The confirmation follows a number of changes made recently to improve the policing service in East Meath, two of which commenced on November 8th.

Laytown Garda station became a core-unit response station, operating on a 24/7 basis with four core units. This change allows for handover briefings and the exchange of information between units and provides for enhanced supervision and governance.

Duleek Garda station became a community policing hub with the transfer of new members to form a dedicated community policing unit.

Overall, both changes have resulted in a net increase in the number of Garda members working from Laytown and Duleek Garda stations.

Additionally, work has commenced to upgrade Laytown Garda station to ‘training station’ status thus allowing the allocation of Trainee Gardaí in 2023.

Local and national Louth and Meath representatives welcomed the announcement, with Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd calling it ‘an Important step for the local area and will be a welcome addition alongside new defined and practical divisional boundaries”.

“I am absolutely delighted with this news this evening – a small bungalow in a housing estate, with no parking for visitors, staff or Garda vehicles is not a suitable location for a Garda station, and the current accommodation has not been fit for purpose for a long number of years," added Cllr Sharon Tolan.

However, it is a case of seeing is believing for the local residents, who say the current station is not fit for purpose and the new facility needs to be a matter of urgency.

"I think it’s fair to say we will give it a cautious welcome, until we see some action,” said Pierce Gilroy, spokesman for the residents.

“I was at the announcement and it is good to hear the Commissioner say he didn’t know the area was so large or populous, and given the extent of coverage needed, the station would not be fit for purpose.

"“It will be up to the OPW to find a new location; anything will be better than where it is now, as when the new school is open across the road, it will be more chaotic than ever, with parents, children and patrol cars clogging up the estate.”


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