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New station car for Cootehill gets police back on road

Image caption The Garda station at Cootehill has received a new patrol car (not pictured)

Police officers in a rural part of Ireland are able to go back on full road patrol after receiving a new car.

Garda officers stationed in the town of Cootehill, County Cavan, were left without official transport when the station car was retired two months ago.

Fianna Fáil councillor Don Smith said that officers had to wait for a car from Baileborough, 17 miles away, when they needed to make arrests.

He said that after "intensive lobbying" a replacement had been found.

"The other car was retired after it had clocked up 300,000 miles. That's the policy, but there was no replacement," he said.

"There were foot patrols in the town, but there is a large rural area and it's not possible to police it properly without a station car.

"The officers could go out in their own cars, but they couldn't bring anyone back in them, they wouldn't have been covered by their insurance.

"What would happen is that they would have to wait for a car with a cell to come from headquarters."

A new car was approved for the station after a meeting of the area's joint policing committee this week.

There are seven full-time officers in the Cootehill station and a sergeant.

It is the second largest town in the county, which is on the border with Northern Ireland. Earlier this year a neighbouring Garda station in Tullyvin was closed as part of cost-cutting measures, which have seen 31 stations close.

"The sergeant is delighted with the car and it will be a deterrent to those in the area thinking about criminal activity," Mr Smith added.

The Garda press office said that it does not discuss how they allocate resources.

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