Castleisland’s Garda Station will be officially opened by Jimmy Deenihan, TD Minister of State at Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Diaspora on the coming Friday, July 17th. at 12noon. Newly appointed Garda Commissioner Noreen O’Sullivan is expected to attend as is Mayor of the Killarney Municipal area, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell.
Though occupied since December 2011 the busy station is only now getting its hour in the political sun.
On Wednesday, December 7-2011 sergeants, John O’Mahony and John English pulled out the door for the last time on their makeshift ‘barracks’ on Church Street and the few final bits and pieces were moved down to Tralee Road.
The contrast with their new base there couldn’t be more pronounced. The house which acted as a garda station on Church Street for a decade was totally inadequate for the size of the force here and the workload it processed for this and the wider community.
It was never meant to be but makeshift as it was pressed into service in extraordinary circumstances. It was brought into play shortly after the old barracks in Barrack Street was damaged in a fire attack in March of 2001. It was seen then as only marginally better that the Portacabin from which the force members had to operate in the back yard of the old barracks for a period after the attack.
Dignity and Privacy
The station is equipped to the highest standards so that both officer and client are afforded due dignity and privacy in their dealings with each other.
Ultra modern, state of the art and other paper thin clichés fall hopelessly short in describing the facilities and finish of the new building.
A lab capable of hosting the most forensic of tests needed and an indestructible records room as well as staff quarters and canteen facilities form the core of the building.
A conference room is included should the need arise. This runs parallel with the Tralee Road with a view from the Market Cross to Knocknagore – and beyond on a fine day.
In spite of the delay in getting the building underway, the time flew, and the new station is a welcome addition to the landscape and welfare of the town and its surrounding countryside. Gone are the days when the local Garda made an arrest and had to escort his ‘prisoner’ to Killarney.
The long wait for the station and the years of lobbying are now but a memory. And considering how cutbacks bit other places so badly in that regard, Friday’s official opening represents an outstanding achievement in itself.