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  • Southside

Works due to start on Stepaside Garda station

Thursday, 14th February, 2019 8:00am
Works due to start on Stepaside Garda station

Minister Shane Ross and Cllr Kevin Daly at the Stepaside Garda station site.

Works due to start on Stepaside Garda station

Minister Shane Ross and Cllr Kevin Daly at the Stepaside Garda station site.

WORKS on reopening the controversial Stepaside Garda Station are due to get underway next month, it emerged last week.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, said in statement that his colleague, Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, had confirmed that plans to reopen Stepaside Garda Station is on target and works are about to start onsite.

“It might have taken longer than we anticipated but preliminary works are all complete and the old Garda station is now a secure site for main contractor’s fit-out works,” Minister Ross said.

“Contracts will be signed in February and full works will begin in early March. In all, the project will cost over €1 million. Works will include the complete refit of the internal area of the building, rewiring, fitting out of rooms to An Garda Síochána’s specifications, security works, roof repairs, window renew and repair, toilets and finally painting and decorating.”

Minister Ross described the project as an important part of an  agreement between the Independent Alliance and Fine Gael in the Programme for Government.

“And while we never doubted it would be delivered, it was the incredible support Cllr Kevin Daly and I got from the community which enabled us to keep the pressure on at council, Dáil and cabinet level,” Minister Ross added.

A letter from Mr Moran states that the OPW has taken vacant possession of the building and preliminary works have been completed.

The contractor, O’Hegarty’s, has been briefed and await specific costings.

The letter adds: “The works will include the complete refit of the entire internal area of the building, rewiring fitting out of rooms to An Garda Síochána specifi-cation, security works, roof repairs and renewals and repair windows and finally painting and decorating.

“The OPW remains on target and expect these main works to be complete by the end of quarter two 2019 – more exact dates when the contractor is on side and has given the OPW a work programme.”

Cllr Daly declared: “It’s great to see the construction vehicles back in Stepaside Garda Station. Thanks to Shane Ross for including this project in the Programme for Government. Without that agreement in place it would have been near impossible to ensure the station would be so thoroughly refurbished and reopened. It’s been a pleasure working with Shane in the Glencullen Sandyford election district and I look forward to the official reopening of the station in the summer.”

 Minister Ross added: “The renovation and reopening of Stepaside Garda Station is absolutely essential in view of the growing population in this area.

“Too many residents have suffered from the fear of burglaries and other crimes since this station closed its doors in 2013. It’s past time it reopened and gave the residents of Stepaside and neighbouring environs a sense of safety and peace of mind.”

Stepaside was one of 139 stations closed as part of Government cuts. However, it later became one of six Garda stations earmarked for reopening by the gardai following a review.

Minister Ross was a vocal critic of the move to close the station and ran his election campaign on the basis that he would reopen Stepaside.

He later defended the Government decision to reopen Stepaside Garda Station, saying it wasn’t “stroke politics” even though the station is in his own constituency.

In 2017, a Garda report indicted that crime rates had dropped “significantly” in the Stepaside area in the months leading up to the decision to reopen the local Garda station.

The rise in population was the main reason for choosing to reopen Stepaside Garda Station.

The report said the population in the area served by Stepaside increased by up to 20 per cent, with the population of the next station, Rush, increasing by up to 13 per cent. It recommended that having a Garda station would increase public confidence.

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