The new Garda Chief Superintendent for Louth has described the staffing levels in Ardee as “insufficient” and says he will push hard for new Garda officers to be deployed in the Louth division, and more specifically Ardee.
The comments were made at last week’s Ardee & Mid-Louth Local Policing Forum meeting held at Ardee Parish Centre, the first such meeting Mangan has attended since taking up his new role in the county last month.
“The staffing levels are certainly insufficient,” he told the assembled members of the public and public representatives from Louth County Council. “There’s not enough Gardai in the Ardee area to service the calls that are coming in.
“Opening hours need to be extended. I will look at the Ardee Station. I can assure you, [Ardee] Superintendent [Fergus] Treanor is onto me every week.”
Mangan also confirmed he was currently assessing the number of Gardai officers in the Ardee division and was looking into bringing new Garda recruits to the area. It was announced in last week’s Budget that 800 new officers will be recruited in 2018.
The issue of staffing levels in the Ardee Station was raised by multiple members of the public, who aired concerns over availability of officers for passport form signing and for answering calls, with many calls through to Ardee Gardai station going being redirect to Drogheda.
When queried on the opening hours of the Ardee Station, Treanor said, “We open during the day as much as possibly can. Incidents happen. This issue has come up before. There are set hours – 2pm to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and 8pm to 10pm on Thursday and Friday.
“There are times when those opening hours can’t be reached because incidents happen,” he continued. “As you can see from the statistics, there’s a traffic incident every two days. That dictates the station closing quite suddenly.”
As of May 31st 2017, there were 298 Gardai stationed in Louth with 33 of them in the Ardee District. The Ardee District comprises of stations in Ardee, Castlebellingham, Collon and Louth Village.
There are 25 officers stationed in Ardee with a further five in Collon, two in Castlebellingham and one in Louth Village. These figures show there has been no change in numbers in the Ardee District since Autumn 2015.