Unionist politicians 'clutching at straws' in arguing for retention of Castlederg PSNI station-Sinn Féin
Published: 7 February, 2012
Sinn Féin Councillors from the Derg Electoral Area of Strabane District Council say that the case for the closure of Castlederg PSNI station is overwhelming and have accused some unionist elected representatives, who continue to argue that it should be retained on 'security grounds,' of clutching at straws.
Sinn Féin councillors Ruairí Mc Hugh, Kieran Mc Guire and Maolíosa Mc Hugh have issued a joint statement fully backing the PSNI station closure prior to the issue being discussed at a public consultation meeting in the Derg Valley Leisure Centre at 8pm next Wednesday Night.
"Locally we have a situation whereby we have a large fortified PSNI station in the centre of Castlederg that has 9 full time officers attached to it even though it is not open to the public nor is anyone arrested locally brought or held in the station but brought instead to either to Omagh, Derry custody suites. Despite the fact that it has had no functional purpose for several years £289,000 was spent renovating the surroundings barriers at the station in the 2010/2011 with annual maintenance costs of £128,574 per annum (latest available figures.)
"By anyone's standards this is a gross waste of resources and public money particularly at a time when budgets for frontline services across all Assembly Departments are facing massive pressures.
"The case for the closure of Castlederg PSNI station is overwhelming yet we have the spectre of certain local unionist politicians continuing to argue that it should be retained on 'security grounds' an outdated argument which bears absolutely no reflection of reality on the ground.
"Instead of clutching at straws, these unionist politicians should be embracing the positive economic and social development opportunities that will open with the freeing up of this extensive site in such a strategic position in the centre of the town in line with vision and objectives of the Derg Visioning Framework.
"Although we represent the largest mandated party in this electoral area we are confident that our views on this issue are shared more widely throughout this community and we would urge as many people as possible to come along to next Wednesday's Consultation and voice their support for the proposal to close Castlederg PSNI station." ENDS