This week marks the first full week of the new policing plan for the former Mary Street garda sub-district.
Mary Street garda station, which had operated in one form or another since the foundation of the state in 1922, closed last Thursday evening along with five other garda stations in rural parts of County Limerick and a further 89 across the country.
The 14 gardai and three sergeants who were attached to the garda station will now operate out of Mayorstone Park garda station.
On Friday afternoon, just a handful of people attended the new “administrative service” which will operate at the Regeneration Offices in Saint Mary’s Park between 12 midday and 1pm each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The service will be operated by community gardai who were previously attached to Mary Street.
“It was mainly passport applications and motor tax issues,” said Garda Dave Nolan, who was attached to Mary Street garda station for four years.
Both Garda Nolan and his colleague, Garda Ray Roche, returned to their community policing duties in Thomondgate and Corbally respectively once the administrative office closed on Friday.
“It is a good facility to have and hopefully the word will get out that it’s here,” said Garda Roche, who was attached to Mary Street garda station for five-and-a-half years prior to its closure.
At a public briefing at the King’s Island Community Centre, last week, Supt Frank O’Brien, Henry Street, said he was delighted to be in a position provide the administrative service in Saint Mary’s Park.
He said there would be no reduction in policing levels as a result of the closure.
“It’s unfortunate that it is closing down but we feel that while the building itself is closing down, there is a strong commitment to maintain the service - the actual policing service,” he said.
“The people that are currently assigned to Mary Street, while they will be working out of Mayorstone; they effectively will be covering the same area as they are covering today from Mary Street,” he added.
Supt O’Brien told those at the meeting, that he will review the new arrangements and, if necessary, the administrative service may be extended.
Despite his reassurances a number of local residents have spoken of their concerns with some saying they believe the closure of Mary Street garda station will result in an increase in crime and antisocial behaviour.