South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the Minister for Justice and Defence Alan Shatter and the Fine Gael & Labour Government representatives should hang their heads in shame over the closure of Kickham Barracks.
“Yesterday was a very sad day in Clonmel and Minister Shatter and Deputy Hayes should hang their heads in shame that they closed Kickham Barracks and were responsible for bringing a 350 year military presence in Clonmel to an end,” said Deputy McGrath
“The Army and their families should be very proud of the work that they have done and the way in which they conducted their campaign to try and Save Kickham Barracks but it is very disappointing that the Government ignored their efforts and refused to be honest and release the information that was requested in relation to the feasibility study.
“I am very pleased that huge crowds lined the streets of Clonmel yesterday to show their respect to the troops as they marched out of Kickham Barracks for the last time. It was an extremely emotional day for the current and retired soldiers and their families who have given so much time and dedication serving the people of Clonmel and the Country over the years, many of whom were both sad and angry at the decision to close Kickham Barracks,” continued McGrath
Deputy McGrath said that it is important now that the Barracks grounds, buildings and valuable statues are protected from vandalism and that every effort be made to put the building to good use for the benefit of the town as soon as possible. Deputy McGrath has suggested the relocation of Clonmel Garda Station to Kickham Barracks.
“I believe that the building could be used as accommodation for Clonmel Garda Station who are urgent need of new accommodation and I call on Minister Shatter to investigate this possibility as a matter of urgency.”