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  • Southside

Fresh row over Stepaside Garda Station reopening

Wednesday, 29th November, 2017 1:00pm
Fresh row over Stepaside Garda Station reopening

Garda.jpg

Fresh row over Stepaside Garda Station reopening

Garda.jpg

A FRESH political row broke out last week over the decision to reopen Stepaside Garda station.

Six Garda stations around the country, including Stepaside, are to be reopened under plans outlined to TDs at a meeting lasat week.

The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) heard that that Garda report on which stations should be reopened is finished and a decision has been taken on the six that will be returned to use.

TDs were told that the five other stations that will reopen under a pilot scheme promised by the Government are in Rush in North Dublin, Carlow, Cavan, Cork and Wicklow.

However, local TD and Independent Alliance Minister Shane Ross, who has been campaigning for Stepaside to reopen, faced further claims of ‘stroke politics’ after Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy told the PAC that allocating officers to a reopened Stepaside Garda Station would not be his "number one priority".

But he added: “In terms of the criteria it fairly and squarely met these criteria better than anywhere else.”

The Vice Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Alan Kelly TD, described the reopening of Stepaside Garda Station as “incredible”.

“What we heard at this morning’s Public Accounts Committee surrounding the reopening of Stepaside Garda Station is unbelievable,” he said.

“The head of policing in Dublin, Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy, admitted to the PAC that Stepaside is not a priority.

“If he had the resources he would give more resources to stations in Ballyfermot and Ronanstown.

“These areas desperately need more gardaí on the streets and an investment in community policing.”

Minister Shane Ross said he had a “very productive meeting” with Minister of State for the OPW, Kevin Moran, and local representatives in Stepaside on Wednesday.

“Minister Moran reassured all of the Government’s commitment to the reopening of the station,” Minister Ross said.

“The project is due to progress in January, once the station has been assessed by the OPW.”

A total of 139 stations closed around the country in the wake of the economic crash between 2012 and 2013.

 

The Programme for Government after the last election committed to reopening six on a pilot basis.

Deputy Kelly added: “It is incredible that a senior member of the Garda management team so openly acknowledged that the opening of Stepaside was done because of criteria set by the Department of Justice for political reasons

 “Following my questioning this morning, Garda Human Resources Director, John Barrett, confirmed to the Public Accounts Committee that he was not consulted regarding the opening of Stepaside Garda Station before it was announced.

“Content to play the parish pump, with his much-vaunted principles cast aside, it is clear that Minister Shane Ross has played stroke politics demanding that Stepaside Garda Station.

“Following this morning’s Public Accounts Committee, the Government need to explain why the demands of Minister Ross were put ahead of the needs of Dublin policing. A review must be carried out of the whole process and ultimately, the allocation of resources should be handed over to the Policing Authority.”

 

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