Rank and file Gardaí in the Tuam area are up in arms over the impending removal of a van that they use in the town to specifically to deal with public order offences.
And their Garda Representative Association has told The Connacht Tribune that they will do their ‘level best’ to ensure that it is not taken away.
The van has two full-size cells and is used to hold prisoners who are arrested for public order offences – a more practical operation than placing those arrested in an ordinary patrol car.
Since its arrival, it has been used considerably in the detention of those arrested for public order offences like being drunk and disorderly, or engaging in violent incidents in a public place.
But local Gardaí were astonished to be told by the Garda authorities that the van is being removed because it does not have enough mileage on it.
However, Dermot O’Brien of the GRA said that public order vans, by their nature, do not put up huge mileage compared to other Garda vehicles. He said that they are used in a very confined area so it was obvious that they would not put up big mileage.
“Since this vehicle arrived in the Tuam District, it has successfully dealt with public order situations in and around the town as well as proving a huge deterrent.
“Seeing the van parked up in Tuam at the weekends makes people think twice before engaging in anything that would result in them ending up inside it.
“We have been informed that it is to do with the lack of mileage on the vehicle but that should have nothing to do with the impact it is having,” Garda O’Brien added.
He said that representations would be made to the Garda authorities to have this decision reversed. It is understood that the van will be relocated to another part of the county.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.