A war of words has broken out between Fine Gael and Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish over claims that Salthill Garda Station will be closed down within the next two years.
In last week’s Galway Advertiser, Dep Grealish claimed Salthill will close once construction of the new Garda Headquarters in Murrough, Renmore, is completed. He went on to say this is part of a series of moves which also involves the downgrading of Mill Street and the relocation and concentration of all Garda infrastructure to the east side of the city.
However Fine Gael Galway West TD Seán Kyne has rubbished this assertion, saying there is “no truth whatsoever in the claim”. His party colleage, Brian Walsh TD, went so far as to call Dep Grealish’s claims “baseless and mischievous”.
Both men say the claims have further been “dismissed by the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald" following a meeting with the Office of the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána”, where it was confirmed that there are “absolutely no plans to close what will remain a strategically integral garda station.”
The claim that Salthill station is earmarked for closure emerged following a Dáil question tabled by Dep Grealish. However Dep Kyne alleges the Minister’s “two-paragraph reply” makes “no reference whatsoever to Salthill”.
Dep Kyne is now calling on the Carnmore based constituency rival to “publish the information in full – whether an email, letter, text or voice message – that led him to make this untruthful claim. Both he and Dep Walsh said the alleged closure has been “causing concern and distress to Galway communities”.
Dep Grealish though is not backing down from his claims, which he says have come from a well placed and impeccable source. He also pointed out that in his question he demanded that Minister Fitzgerald give a commitment that Salthill station be “retained in its current capacity” after the new HQ in Murrough is opened.
“The Minister refused to give this commitment, despite commitments given in the past by previous ministers for justice,” he said. “I have now tabled another Dáil question to the Minister seeking a commitment in writing that Salthill be retained to allay the concerns of residents of Salthill, Knocknacarra, and the east side of Connemara.”