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*Cllr Bill Slattery. Photograph: Gary Collins

An active Garda presence is needed in North Clare during The Irish Open and subsequently to police Blake’s Corner according to Cllr Bill Slattery.

Speaking at the April meeting of the Clare Joint Policing Committee, the Fine Gael representative queried what plans were in place from An Garda Síochána within the county for the upcoming European Tour event which runs for three days in July.

“Where is the Garda headquarters going to be for the Open? I certainly hope it won’t be Ennis or Kilrush, the Garda station in Ennistymon should be open 24/7 for the Irish Open, this state of the Garda station should be utilised,” Cllr Slattery stated.

Supt Brendan McDonagh pointed out, “The question of taking Gardaí away from the area if there are incidents would hamper resources, there will be a venue close to Lahinch for the amount of Gardaí on duty”.

In response, Slattery questioned if they would consider opening the Lahinch Barracks to which McDonagh said “That is an option”. Director of Service with Clare County Council, Leonard Cleary told the meeting “there is a very detailed event licence and clear plan for The Irish Open”.

Cllr Slattery also raised the long running issue that is Blake’s Corner. “As of yesterday traffic was halfway up to Lahinch and there was no Garda on duty”.

Directing his comments to newly appointed Chief Superintendent Michael Gubbins, he said “Your predecessor felt it wasn’t an issue for Gardaí that it was for the County Council and the TII. Could you see yourself putting a Garda in place for the tourist season this year? After the Open we’re left with mayhem”.

Assurance was given by Supt McDonagh, “There will be a number of Gardaí on duty for the Open”. He committed to speaking with his colleague Supt John Galvin on the matter, “The peak times and fine weather weekends, it is a bad corner, we will monitor it going forward”.

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