Centralisation setback for 4th superintendent
WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL will make a submission to the national garda district review board for a superintendent for the Gorey district in the New Year based on the district's rapidly increasing population and crime profile.
Deputy Michael D'Arcy Jnr called for the policing authority's review of Garda districts to take into consideration the clear need for a superintendent to be returned to the Gorey district. 'A number of years ago the Gorey Garda district was subsumed into the Enniscorthy garda district. The Wexford and New Ross garda districts remained intact,' Deputy D'Arcy said.
He said the Government has agreed to a review of the districts by the end of January.
Calling on all committee members to unanimously support his request for a superintendent to be reinstated to the Gorey district, Deputy D'Arcy said he has the full backing of the five Wexford TDs.
'Preliminary Census figures show that the national population has increased by 2.7 per cent over the past five years and the population of County Wexford has increased by 2.9 per cent. There has been a 7.3 per cent increase in the population of the Gorey area, which constitutes 52 per cent of the county's population growth. The Gorey area is growing rapidly and with the sewerage and water available it is only going to grow faster over the coming years.'
He said the population base of coastal North Wexford doubles over the summer months, adding 'we now have the fifth largest town in the county in Courtown which has a population of 5,500 people, not far behind New Ross. There are serious problems in the area and guards are under more policing pressure than in other areas. I don't believe the county can work properly without the allocation of resources and a new superintendent also.'
Deputy D'Arcy said an inspector is needed for the Gorey area, but was told by Chief Superintendent John Roche that an inspector has been appointed to the Gorey district, adding that there are two more inspectors based in Enniscorthy, while the New Ross and Wexford districts have one inspector each. 'It was a terrible mistake what was done and this is an opportunity to correct that mistake,' Deputy D'Arcy said.
Cllr Pip Breen seconded the motion, saying the North Wexford area is 'by far' the most challenging area in the county to police. 'A lot of people are coming in from different areas,' Cllr Breen added.
Cllr Joe Sullivan welcomed the news that Gorey Garda Station is being used as a training station for new recruits.
Supt Roche said the review will be carried out by the Garda inspectorate. 'They will take into account the rural development. They will also take into account the ongoing work of the Garda Commissioner to implement the regional model which is based on centralisation.'
Cllr Davy Hynes criticised the centralisation model, saying the system has been implemented in various areas in Irish bodies with little positive effect. 'It's certainly better to keep things local.'
Deputy D'Arcy asked for the submission to be made on the basis of significant population growth rates in the North Wexford area.
CEO Tom Enright said the motion will be heard at next month's meeting of Wexford County Council.