Superintendents in Bruff blow in and out faster than Hurricane Ophelia – Cllr Bill O’Donnell Picture: Michael Cowhey
SUPERINTENDENTS are blowing in and out of Bruff “faster than Hurricane Ophelia”, said Cllr Bill O’Donnell.
He was speaking at a Cappamore-Kilmallock municipal area meeting ahead of the transfer of Supt William Duane from Bruff to Mallow this Tuesday.
Cllr O’Donnell called on his fellow elected members to collectively voice their “disapproval at the musical chairs in the district headquarters in Bruff”.
“We had Supt Tom Lundon and then we had Supt Alan Cunningham. They were both excellent superintendents who lived in the community. After Supt Cunningham was transferred we had Supt Feargal Patwell for a few weeks before he was transferred to the city. He blew in and out faster than Hurricane Ophelia,” said Cllr O’Donnell.
Next in the Bruff hot seat for 18 months was acting superintendent, Inspector Luke Conlon. The councillor said Insp Conlon was “integral” in leading successful investigations into a number of serious crimes in east Limerick and he had a great interest in the area.
Supt Duane was appointed last December and was due to leave on Tuesday, October 24.
Garda management in Dublin are “showing total disregard for the importance of the Bruff district”, said the councillor.
“Bruff has a serious anti-social behaviour problem. East Limerick has had a number of serious crimes that have been prosecuted successfully. We need a superintendent to be appointed for three years. They are showing blatant disregard for our district. This has to stop,” said Cllr O’Donnell, who added that not having a long term superintendent is affecting their ability to fight for garda resources.
Chairman of the municipal district, Cllr Gerald Mitchell said: “They are showing no respect to the garda district”.
Prior to news breaking of Supt Duane’s departure, Cllr Brigid Teefy had put down a motion that, “as a matter of urgency, extra gardai be assigned to the district”.
“They need more resources. We haven’t got any of the new recruits. It is the size of Co Louth. If the car is in Doon and they get a call in Kilfinane or if it is in Murroe and they get a call in Bruree – it takes a long time to get there,” said Cllr Teefy. She also pointed to a number of experienced gardai who were promoted to sergeant and transferred to the city.
In a front page article in the Leader two weeks ago, a garda, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “There is a sense of disillusionment on the ground in Bruff because there is no continuity in terms of management”.
At the time both Bruff and Newcastle West faced the proposition of being without a full-time superintendent after the retirement in the west of Supt Tom O’Connor.
Supt Eamon O’Neill has since been appointed to the Newcastle West district but at the time of going to press there was no word on who is the Bruff acting superintendent or when a full-time one would be appointed.
Deputy Niall Collins said: “It is a disgrace how the Bruff district is being policed.”
All the councillors backed Cllr O’Donnell’s proposal to write to Chief Supt David Sheahan to raise their concerns about the Bruff district and call for a full-time superintendent to be appointed.