§ MR. SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the 561 Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he will explain why the police barrack at Ballinagore, county Westmeath, which was scheduled to be struck off the rolls as unnecessary three years ago, has been retained; whether he is aware that about one-third of the population are infirm and on the outdoor relief list; will he say how many policemen are now stationed there; what was the number of prosecutions for even minor offences for the last twenty years; will he compare the reports, private or otherwise, furnished before the barrack was scheduled to be struck off the rolls, with those made since; and whether, having regard to the small population of the district, he will consider the advisability of discontinuing a police force at Ballinagore, considering that the village is not three statute miles from Kilbeggan and about four miles from the following stations, which surround it in a circle: Castletown Geoghegan, Stoneyford, and Tyrrellspass.
(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The In specter-General informs me that it was decided two years ago to abolish the police station at Ballinagore, but, owing to the existence of certain disturbing elements in the locality, it was considered desirable to postpone the abolition for a time. Sixteen persons out of a population of 933 are in receipt of outdoor relief. Four policemen are stationed at Ballinagore, During the past twenty years 678 prosecutions for minor offences have taken place in the district. The question of abolishing the station at Balinagore is primarily one for the consideration of the police authorities, who are responsible for the proper policing of the district; and the Inspector General informs me that he will renew his proposal to abolish the station as soon as the state of the district warrants the adoption of that course.