Members of the Clare Joint Policing Committee have described the request to establish an Ennis District policing subcommittee as “ridiculous”.
Fine Gael’s Johnny Flynn in November called on the JPC to “immediately establish an Ennis District policing subcommittee within the structure of the Clare Joint Policing Committee as is allowed for under JPC guidelines”. His motion failed to garner the support of Ennis Municipal District councillors but was brought to the attention of the JPC at their first meeting of 2019.
His namesake, Cllr Gerry Flynn admitted that he disagreed with the decision to dispense with JPCs in towns “when the Government abolished town councils,” however he was critical of the timing of Johnny Flynn’s request. “I know that it’s election time but this is ridiculous. When the next council elections are over maybe the Government could be lobbied”.
Council Director, Leonard Cleary outlined, “at the moment we only have the administrative resources to support one Joint Policing Committee. We don’t have the resources to staff a sub-committee”.
Fianna Fáil duo Alan O’Callaghan and Pat Daly supported the comments of Cllr Gerry Flynn. “A JPC is covering the county, we don’t want more bureaucracy. I would have a vote of confidence in this committee, the request is ridiculous,” Cllr Daly stated.
“It would be another layer of bureaucracy and another talking shop,” Cllr Mary Howard said. She praised the Gardaí who she felt were “very open” when offering advice to the JPC.
As a meeting of the Economic Development SPC was on at the same time, Cllr Johnny Flynn was not present when this discussion occurred.
However on Monday, Cllr Johnny Flynn brought the matter to the attention of Assistant Commissioner, Anne Marie McMahon as she addressed a meeting of the local authority. “We had a very successful Joint Policing Committee in the town of Ennis which covered a population of 25,000 people, with the restructuring of local Governmentt we lost that and I’m seeing the loss of that. Hopefully Commission for Future of Policing will allow it to return, we saw how successful the state body worked in the urban area”.
“It’s not within my remit to go making any promises on the structure of the JPC other than to say we’re fully committed to supporting the Council and the people of Clare. We have a Superintendent in Ennis and in Kilrush, there is a good structure here. Our job is to provide a service to the community, the most efficient way we can do that is through our Guards”, McMahon replied.