Further garda stations to close

Image caption Garda officers on patrol

The Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said more police stations are to be closed.

It follows the closure of 26 garda stations on Saturday as a result of cost saving plans announced in December 2011.

Mr Shatter said the country no longer needed 700 stations and the process of identifying the stations to be closed was underway.

Four stations in the border counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal have closed.

The decision has been strongly criticised by garda representatives.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors said the policy represented a serious erosion of the community policing model.

The minister said he could not yet say how many more stations would be closed.