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  • Southside

Victory as Stepaside Garda Station to reopen

Monday, 19th June, 2017 8:00am

Story by Tony McCullagh
Victory as Stepaside Garda Station to reopen

Shane Ross and Cllr Kevin Daly share the good news on a poster.

Victory as Stepaside Garda Station to reopen

Shane Ross and Cllr Kevin Daly share the good news on a poster.

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CONFIRMATION that Stepaside Garda Station is set to reopen has been broadly welcomed on the Southside.

Last week, the Government received an interim report on the possibility of reopening a number of stations which had been shut as part of cost saving measures in the Garda force during the Fine Gael/Labour coalition.

Even though more than 100 Garda stations were closed across the country between 2011 and 2013, as few as six are likely to reopen as part of a review of available resources and crime figures by Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan.

Stepaside is the only station so far confirmed as reopening, although Rush in North County Dublin, Donard in Wicklow and Leighlinbridge in Carlow are among those expected to get the green light in the commissioner’s final report at the end of June. New Garda stations at Dublin Airport and Dublin Port are also proposed.

Crime has been a major issue in the Stepaside area, with residents and businesses reporting an upsurge in burglaries and robberies since the Garda station shut in 2013. The closure led to numerous public protests in the area and proved politically difficult for some candidates in last year’s general election.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, who is an Independent TD for the area, had campaigned hard for the reopening of Stepaside Garda Station and it was one of his conditions for entering Government. In a Facebook post last week, he described the decision as “wonderful news” and said it was a direct result of the tireless work of the local community.

“I would like to wholeheartedly thank all involved in the campaign, giving special mention to Cllr Kevin Daly and the local businesses who have championed this issue from day one,” Minister Ross said. “Well done all!”

Local Fine Gael senator Neale Richmond also welcomed the Stepaside announcement but warned that proper resources needed to be made available to ensure the station serves the local community.

“This is an extremely welcome measure that will be greeted with relief by many in the local community,” he said. “However, simply reopening the station building is not enough. I have stressed to the Tánaiste that proper resources need to be made available in light of this welcome news to reopen Stepaside Garda Station.

“The station needs to be properly resourced with Garda personnel, Garda cars, other vehicles and equipment.

“Garda numbers in surrounding stations are still too low and the reopening must not further stretch the resources of stations such as Dundrum, Rathfarnham or Blackrock.”

Senator Richmond added: “I commend the Tánaiste for the investment put into the gardaí in recent years - 800 new gardaí are to be hired and trained in 2017 and a total of 3,200 new gardaí will be recruited over the next four years.”

Dublin Rathdown TD Josepha Madigan (FG) described the news as a major victory for local residents.

“Since it was closed in in 2013, the Stepaside community has worked tirelessly for their Garda station to be restored,” Deputy Madigan stated. 

“As I said in the Dáil last March, Stepaside’s growing population means it is crucial that the community is well served by a local Garda station. It was reported last year that there was a 50 per cent increase in burglaries recorded in the general environs of Stepaside since the closure of this Garda station.”

The closure of Stepaside Garda Station had resulted in public protests. FILE PHOTO

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