County towns lose out on Garda top-brass

The new Garda HQ in Galway.

The towns of Clifden and Tuam are set to lose their Garda superintendents in what has been described as a major shake-up of policing across the county.

It comes after Galway was chosen as one of four areas to pilot the new model of management which will see civilians take over from Gardaí across a range of functions in the areas of finance and general administration.

Governance and strategic policing will be carried out in the new regional headquarters in Murrough, on the Dublin Road opposite the GMIT.

The aim is to improve service to the public and have a greater presence of officers on the ground rather than stuck behind desks.

There will continue to be six superintendents in the city and county, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley insisted at this week’s County Joint Policing Committee meeting.

But some will be reassigned to divisional roles rather than solely concerned with a broad range of issues in a geographic area.

Clifden Superintendent Ernie White has been moved to the new HQ in charge of regional crime. The superintendent in Salthill will now have operational control over the Clifden district while the superintendent based in Ballinasloe will also oversee Tuam.

“There are too many districts, too many guards in offices. We should be more centrical in how we do our business.

“It’s not going to mean a reduced service in Tuam or Clifden. You’re going to take away governance and crime…reducing the amount of time spent on GSOC (Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission) issues, so they’re not spending two hours a week at their desk,” he stated.

“Public order, assaults, crime trends – they’ll have the opportunity to deal with these one on one,” added Chief Supt Curley.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.