A MATTER of weeks after being appointed the new superintendent of the Bruff garda district, Feargal Patwell has been transferred to Limerick city.
The garda press office confirmed to the Limerick Leader that he is due to start in Roxboro on May 6
“He is being moved as Supt Jim Ryan at Roxboro Road is moving to Henry Street, having been appointed as detective superintendent for the Limerick division,” said a garda spokesperson. It follows the retirement of Det Supt Jim Browne.
Supt Patwell only commenced his role in Bruff in March.
Deputy Niall Collins said it was nothing short of “farcical”.
“The man barely had his feet under the desk in Bruff and he is being switched by the top brass in Dublin to Bruff. It is very unfair on him and all the gardai in the district.
“Since Supt Alan Cunningham was transferred from Bruff in June 2014 communities have been waiting for a new superintendent to be appointed. Then when he is appointed he has been moved before people even got a chance to meet him. It is ridiculous,” said Mr Collins.
“Parliamentary questions I put to the Minister for Justice earlier this year showed that the Bruff garda district only had four vehicles. I said at the time do we expect the gardai to run on foot after criminals in their getaway cars? And now do we expect gardai to do their jobs without a superintendent?
“People in rural areas are feeling an ever increasing level of vulnerability from the organised travelling gangs and the fact that Bruff doesn’t have a superintendent again to lead the fight against crime certainly doesn’t help matters,” said Mr Collins.
Retired detective garda and current councillor, Sean Lynch said the fear is that Bruff will become like Askeaton and be downgraded to a sub-station.
“The Bruff district covers a huge geographical area. This decision is totally undermining it. You cant be saying in one forum about policing and working with communities and then you take your most senior officer out of that district headquarters and put him into a different one. It is very wrong,” said Cllr Lynch. Both men called for a new superintendent to be put in place as the division is currently down two – the one in Askeaton was never replaced and now Bruff is vacant again.