€50k for Castlerea Fire Station welcomed, but ‘only tip of the iceberg’

A sum of €50,000 has been made available as part of Roscommon County Council’s Budget for 2023 for the reopening of Castlerea Fire Station.

The funding was ring-fenced at last Thursday’s Budget meeting following a proposal by Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice, which received wide support from members across each Municipal District.

Councillors have continuously called for the service to be reinstated since its closure in 2017.

Acting Chief Executive Shane Tiernan, however, cautioned that the sum was “only the tip of the iceberg” and that a figure in the region of €300,000 per annum would be required over the next three years to see the service reinstated.

Mr. Tiernan also said there was no doubt such a move would result in a rates increase and once again reiterated that the local authority was exceeding its statutory obligations when it came to the provision of fire services in the area.

He also highlighted ongoing difficulties nationwide in sourcing full-time staff for fire services.

Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice said the provision of funding was good news, but it was only the start of the process. He added that a rates increase wasn’t required in 2015 and 2016 when the service was last in place.