South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed news that an announcement has been made regarding the relocation of Clonmel Garda Station to the former Kickham Barracks site but is seeking an Official announcement from the Minister.
Deputy Hayes has this morning announced that that the move is to go ahead with funds to be made available in the 2014 capital programme, but Deputy McGrath is seeking a confirmation of this announcement in writing from the Minister and for it to be put on the record of the Dáil.
Deputy McGrath has consistently raised this matter with the Minister for Justice and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, having first made a suggestion that the Garda Station be duly located with the Army, prior to the closure of the Barracks. He has raised the matter in Dáil Éireann on a number of occasions since, having raised it again as recently as last week, by way of a Priority Question to the Minister.
The Minister failed to make the announcement last Wednesday in response to Deputy McGrath’s Parliamentary Question and declined an invitation from Deputy McGrath to visit Clonmel Garda Station during his visit to South Tipperary on Monday. Deputy Hayes has stated today that the Minister made the announcement during his visit to Tipperary Town on Monday.
“I am pleased to hear the Minister has approved this long overdue move, however, I am concerned about the nature of the announcement. I raised this matter with the Minister in the Dáil last Wednesday and he failed to make the announcement, yet was able to make the announcement to Deputy Hayes just days later. History has thought me that it is important to have such announcements put in writing and on the record of the Dáil, so that there is little or no room for movement on the matter, as the Minister may not even be in Government in 2014.” Said Deputy McGrath
“I suspect that the Minister was playing politics by not making the announcement in response to the question that I had put to him last week, but either way, I will put the question to the Minister again, in the hope that we can get this announcement confirmed in writing.” Continued McGrath
“I have raised this matter with the Minister regularly over the last number of months and this matter is too important for playing politics. I am very pleased if a decision has been made as the current Clonmel Garda Station is not fit for purpose and this is a matter that I have worked hard on over the last year. I would be delighted if the Kickham Barracks site will now be put to good use by a number of vital organisations.”