There is growing concern and mounting speculation in Castlerea over the future of the town’s fire station, which has now remained closed for almost three years.
With fears growing locally that the station may never re-open, the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council hopes that a review into the reopening of the station would be completed before Christmas.
There are concerns in Castlerea that the study will recommend or lead to the station’s permanent closure. The station has been shut over staffing issues for more than two and a half years.
At its July sitting, the council said that a risk management review on the future of Castlerea Fire service was to be commissioned. Once complete, the council chief executive said he would assess the feasibility of reopening the station.
Speaking to the Roscommon Herald on Monday, Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice said that the council informed him that no decision on the station’s future had yet been made. He said that he had heard nothing about the station being permanently closed, but acknowledged that people would speculate on the study’s outcome.
“I remain totally opposed to the closure of Castlerea Fire Station,” he said. “People will speculate that this is the start of its closure, I hope it isn’t, because we need a fire service in Castlerea. I would hope that everybody involved would make a huge effort to get it reopened.” He added that on his own initiative, he had made two proposals since the station closed in January 2017 to resolve the issue but to no avail.
When asked when the study might be complete, Cllr Fitzmaurice said he hoped it would be finished in the coming weeks. The council has always said that it was committed to reopening the station, once it is safe to do so. When contacted the local authority declined to comment.