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  • Northside East

Date for Garda station reopening  is demanded

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 8:00am
Date for Garda station reopening  is demanded

6 New Garda Station general.jpg

Date for Garda station reopening  is demanded

6 New Garda Station general.jpg

Shauna Bowers

A NORTHSIDE Senator has demanded that the reopening of a local Garda station must be fast-tracked and operational in the new year. 

Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy confirmed during a recent meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that Rush would be one of six Garda stations to be reopened nationwide under a pilot programme. However, locals are demanding that a date be set for the station’s reopening.

“While the reopening is welcome, there is a fear across north county Dublin that this is a false dawn,” Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee (FF) said. The demand for Rush Garda Station to be reopened has been a long-standing issue for local residents, who submitted a petition last year, led by Dublin Fingal TD Louise O’Reilly (SF), to reinstate the station. Rush residents fear that the plan to have the station in operation again is an “empty promise”.

The Department of Justice did not respond to a request from Northside People for comment about an expected date for the reopening.

The station was closed in early 2012 causing a “serious void in policing” in the area, according to local TDs.

Local politicians have been lobbying for the reopening of the station for a number of years.

Senator Clifford-Lee said in March she was told that a report on the matter would go to the Minister for Justice by the end of May, but it was the end of November before a final report went to Government.

She is dissatisfied with the delay of this process and wants the plans to be “outlined and acted on urgently”. 

“I am calling on the Minister to give a clear timeframe for the station’s opening,” said Senator Clifford-Lee.

“The Minister must give the people of Rush a guarantee that the reopening will be fast-tracked and completed in a reasonable timeframe and whether Rush will receive the necessary resources to ensure the station will reopen without further delay.”

If the reopening of the station does proceed, there also needs to be an increase in the number of gardai employed at the station, according to locals.

“Having a Garda station in Rush would be great but that’s not the only issue here,” said Niall O’Donoghue, a former resident of Rush town.

“Even when it was open, there was minimal Garda presence around the town. It would need more gardai for it to actually be a worthwhile entity. There’s no point in reopening it if there’s no presence there again. That’s what’s important.”

Mr O’Donoghue pointed out that Rush has a growing population and there will need to be an increase in Garda numbers after the reopening of the station to reflect this. 

“This also affects Lusk and Loughshinny too,” he added. “Going to Balbriggan to see gardai just isn’t enough.”

Deputy O’Reilly (SF) said she very much welcomed the positive news for Rush and surrounding areas.

“This signifies a victory for the local community who have supported our campaign for the reopening of the local Garda station and I would like to thank everyone who signed our petitions and drop leaflets in this campaign,” she said.

Dublin Fingal TD Alan Farrell (FG) said: “This signifies a great victory for the local community in Rush.” 

 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here