Reliable sources have told Meath Live that on at least one recent occasion a lone Garda was on duty in Kells station between the hours of 1 am and 7 am.

As the female Garda was acting as station orderly all calls to the station were covered by members from Navan station.

The Kells district also covers Athboy and Oldcastle, and between the the three towns have a population of just over 10,000, while there is a huge rural hinterland to be covered as well.

The source revealed, ‘It definitely happened at least once, it was through a combination of factors but chiefly to the simple fact there aren’t enough guards, that is the bottom line.

‘If you factor in illness and holidays then it is quite easy to see how it could come about, but the lack of resources gives criminals a free reign to do what they like.’

This comes a day after Meath Live revealed that none of the 50 burglaries that took place in the Kells district over the first six months of this year have yet been solved.

The Garda Representative Association and the department of Justice have been contacted for comment.