Micheál Martin: The closing of certain Garda stations was 'misdirected'
Micheal Martin has called for a rethink on policing policy, saying the closing of certain Garda stations was 'misdirected.'
He said people are living in fear in certain areas and that were gardai are absent, there is no deterrent to stop burglars.
Micheal Martin was speaking today outside Stepaside garda station in Dublin - which has been at the centre of a high profile community bid to have it reopened.
Retired Sergeant in charge, John Keating told the Fianna Fáil leader that four of the gardai involved in the Graham Dwyer murder trial - "one of the most complicated murder trials in the country" had been based at Stepaside.
The closure of the station had corresponded with a tripling of the local population, Sgt Keating said.
Local Fianna Fáil senator Mary White described the closure as "folly."
Chairperson of the local residents' association, Aileen Eglinton said: "We've all been burgled around here" - with the local GAA club Wayside Celtic broken into just last Saturday night.
She described how she had been in her garden last summer when two burglars broke in. She screamed at them and they fled.
Ms Eglinton said they had been promised that 'smart policing' would replace the physical presence of gardai stationed locally. However this had not transpired because of the lack of Garda personnel.
"There's not enough staff," she said.