The public should see no difference on policing when the new Garda Division of Waterford comes into effect on 1st January next, a local sergeant has said.

Under the new plan, Waterford will have its own operating division with districts in the city, at Dungarvan and Tramore, while a new division of Carlow/Kilkenny will be created. Though much of South Kilkenny will now be policed by the newly formed Kilkenny/ Carlow Division, Ferrybank and its hinterland out to the new city bypass will remain within Waterford city’s jurisdiction.

Changes to the Garda divisions to align them with county and city borders will see Tramore Gardai covering the area of the new WIT campus in Carriganore and Waterford Regional Airport, while the Port of Waterford will move to the city district.

Parts of the current Kilmacow sub district, in certain areas of Grannagh, Dunkitt and Mullinabro, will be brought into the city division, while other regions of South Kilkenny, such as Luffany, will migrate to the Thomastown district.

The Superintendent at Dungarvan will assume policing responsibility for the sub-districts of Ballyduff and Ardmore, currently attached to the Cork North Division and the Superintendent at Cahir will assume policing responsibility for the village of Newcastle, Co Tipperary, which is currently the policing responsibility of Dungarvan.

Sgt Gavin Hegarty of Waterford Garda Station said the changes in policing boundaries would result in a small degree of personnel realignment. It was hoped to provide 24-hour cover within the South Kilkenny area of the new Carlow/ Kilkenny division and also the subdivision of Kilmacthomas and Lismore in the future, though no definite plans had yet been made. At present, the three stations of Waterford, Dungarvan and Tramore offer a 24-hour Garda service.

“The changes have a lot to do with administration and will have little impact in terms of on-the-ground, visible policing”, Sgt Hegarty noted. “They certainly don’t mean that Gardai in Waterford will not go to the scene of, for example, an accident in Grannagh just because that area isn’t under their jurisdiction. Ultimately, common sense will prevail.”