Garda decision to name Waterford divisional HQ welcomed
A number of Waterford's public representatives have welcomed the announcement this evening that the divisional headquarters for the new Waterford/Kilkenny/Carlow division is being retained in Waterford.
Fianna Fail TD Mary Butler said, “I’m glad that common sense has prevailed and that the decision has been taken not to move the divisional headquarters out of Waterford city.
“Waterford is the 5th busiest station in the country and with the population of the county expected to grow by 30,000 over the next 20 years, it makes sense to base the divisional headquarters in the city.
“I raised this issue directly with the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at the Oireachtas Justice Committee last week and I am pleased that my concerns were taken on board and welcome the confirmation from An Garda Síochána this evening."
Fine Gael senator Paudie Coffey said: “I always believed Waterford city, as the capital of the South East, had to be the obvious choice of location given its regional city status as identified in the Government’s own Ireland 2040 strategic plan.
“I know concerns were expressed in some quarters that the Government would ignore Waterford and instead locate the divisional headquarters in Kilkenny, but thankfully these were unfounded, and I welcome today’s announcement from Commissioner Harris."
Minister John Halligan said: “I'm glad to confirm that Waterford Garda Station will remain the divisional headquarters for the new garda division.
"As the new division's largest population base and geographical centre, it is right and fair that Waterford City be the centre of operations.
"I have had many conversations with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan over the past month during which I stressed to him the importance of retaining this service for Waterford.
"I have also spoken to senior gardaí at Waterford station who expressed their satisfaction with the new operational model, and support Waterford’s long-standing position as a divisional headquarters.
"I look forward to seeing the benefits that this progressive reform of An Garda Síochána will bring when it comes to service provision.”
Deputy David Cullinane said: "The decision to locate the headquarters of the new Garda division is the right one. Waterford City is the Capital of the Region and needs to be treated as such. The City will experience significant population growth in the next 20 years.
“Earlier this month all 32 Councillors and 4 out of the 5 Oireachtas members penned a letter to the Garda Commissioner outlining our concerns. We set out a considered and rational reason why the Headquarters should be in Waterford.
“The Commissioner and his team have taken those concerns on board. The Commissioner must follow through on his reform plans and deliver the additional front line Gardaí to tackle crime in the region. Local politicians must continue to work together to ensure we get delivery on the North Quays, the Airport, the University for the Region and the additional capacity in health, housing, education and public transport for the region.”