Garda Commissioner visits Laytown Garda Station

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris visited Laytown Garda Station on Thursday of last week where he met with the inspector in charge as well as the chief superintendents from both Louth and Meath Divisions.

Among the matters discussed were facilities at the east Meath station, resourcing and criminality and it was confirmed that the garda boundary was also discussed.

A garda spokesperson confirmed that Commissioner Harris visited Laytown Garda Station on 28th July where he met members of the station party, including the Inspector in Charge, Valerie Gahan and that Chief Superintendent John Dollard attached to Meath Division and Chief Superintendent Alan McGovern from the Louth Division were also present.

"Matters of facilities, resourcing, criminality, including public order and the boundary were all discussed," the spokesperson said.

Until 2008, Laytown was a sub station of Drogheda Garda Station and policed from there as part of the Louth Meath Division. When the two divisions were separated and Meath became a division in its own right in 2008, Laytown was initially a standalone district, but was amalgamated into the Ashbourne District in 2012.

The move prompted criticism as the headquarters covering Laytown was now in Ashbourne, some 30km away, whereas Drogheda had been geographically much closer.

As the garda boundary generally follows the local authority boundary, this means that Grangerath, Southgate and the Donore Road Retail Park are all in the Meath Division.

The Garda Commissioners Office has previously confirmed that the boundary is under review and it was recommended that it be re-aligned "to reflect the needs of the community". What exactly this means and whether it will just see areas on the outskirts of Drogheda move to the Drogheda District or whether it goes further to take in larger parts of the Laytown area remains to be seen.

The need for a fit for purpose station that is manned 24-hours has also been highlighted for many years by local councillors.

Laytown Garda Station is located in small bungalow at Beach Park housing estate with a prefab at the back and no parking. Local councillors have been calling for improved facilities as well as increased garda numbers given the population and also the fact Laytown a busy coastal area especially during the peak summer months.