Campaigners hope to persuade Minister Shatter to re-think the policy.

A PUBLIC meeting will be held tonight (Monday, April 16th) at the Community Hall in Kilbrittain to renew the campaign against rural garda station closures in West and Mid-Cork.

The meeting gets underway at 8:30pm and is organised by the West Cork Rural Garda Station Retention Campaign.

The meeting is open to all concerned citizens from across West and Mid-Cork and all local public representatives have been invited to attend.

There are renewed fears for the future of rural garda stations following the first round of closures this month which saw 39 stations across the country close for good.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has also indicated that more closures are being considered as a cost-saving measure.

At its recent annual conference in Athlone the Garda Representative Association (GRA) warned that further closures would reduce the ability of the gardaí to fight crime.

GRA president Damien McCarthy said, “This policy is unnecessary and will not provide significant savings for the exchequer, we will be urging the minister to reconsider before irreparable damage is done”.

Cork North West Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan has also urged a re-think on the issue.

“Minister Shatter’s latest threats of garda cuts are causing a significant amount of fear in communities across Cork.

“Minister Shatter must confirm the future of all garda stations in this county.  In opposition, Alan Shatter himself called for extra gardaí in the community, claiming that areas of the country have become ‘lawless badlands’.

“He clearly understands the importance of a visible garda presence in the community and the serious long-term consequences of removing such a key local service,” he said.

Meanwhile, as reported on West Cork Times last week, burglaries in West Cork have increased by 24 per cent year-on-year.