Report from Shannonside Radio & Roscommon Herald
Roscommon County Council claims it is determined to reopen Castlerea fire station as soon as possible, despite the town facing into its ninth week without local cover.
The fire station in the west Roscommon town has been closed for two months after a number of firemen went out on sick leave and there is not enough staff available to keep it open.
In a statement, Roscommon County Council said ‘would like to assure members of the public that the council is absolutely determined to re-open the Castlerea Fire Station at the earliest possible opportunity once they are satisfied the nine part-time firemen who are based in the town can work safely together’.
A deputation from the town is now seeking a meeting with local Government Minister Simon Coveney to inform him of the concerns. A second public meeting on the issue took place in the O’Rourke GAA Centre in the town last Tuesday. The meeting heard the concerns and anger of locals over the apparent stalemate between Roscommon County Council and fire personnel over issues at the station.
Irene Greene who chaired the meeting accused both the chief fire officer and the council chief executive of showing “disrespect” to the people of by failing to attend. “We need and deserve to know where to go from here. We’re being left vulnerable here, we need to start making noise and get our voices heard” she said.
Senator Maura Hopkins said it was crucial that there is a “functioning station” in the town. She said there is a need to organise a deputation to meet with Mr Coveney.
Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy offered to facilitate any meetings between the fire officers and management at the council and emphasised the need for communication to break the impasse.