187. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will re-open a Garda station (details supplied) in County Kerry given its geographical isolation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12804/16]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to her. This includes responsibility for the formulation of proposals in relation to the opening and closing of Garda Stations, taking into account crime trends and policing priorities, so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of these resources. Indeed, this was the basis on which the Garda District and Station Rationalisation Programme 2012-2013 was developed and implemented.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that Sneem Garda Station remains open. I understand that it was a sub-district within the Caherciveen District which was amalgamated with the Killarney District in 2013.
The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government recognises that community policing is the embodiment of An Garda Síochána, providing a means of recognising that every community, both urban and rural, has its own concerns and expectations. It commits the Government to ensuring visible, effective and responsive policing in every community, including the most minimal response times possible.
In support of this objective, the Policing Authority will be asked to oversee a review of, among other things, both the boundaries of Garda districts and the dispersal of Garda stations in rural areas, and in developing urban and suburban areas, with a view to ensuring both an efficient and optimum geographical distribution of stations and minimal response times, including taking account of station closures since 2012.