| 8.9°C Dublin

Fears for city Garda station

Gardai fear that Fitzgibbon Street garda station in Dublin, known as 'Fort Apache' due to the "challenging nature" of the gritty north inner city area it serves, will not reopen.

The barracks was closed late last year for renovations, but no work has been carried out since.

The 110 staff have been redeployed to Mountjoy station in Phibsborough, where they work from a new structure at the rear of the building.

"There is only one guy in Fitzgibbon Street answering the phone and already the building is starting to deteriorate. A few windows have gone in and there are prowlers hanging around the place. The word coming back is that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has no money to fix the place up. If that's the case, it will probably never reopen," explained a veteran city centre garda.

Fuelling suspicions was the recent announcement by the commissioner that four of the city's stations and a further 35 nationwide will be closed down this year to save cash.

Among the stations due to be closed in Dublin are Harcourt Terrace, Whitehall, Dalkey and Rush. Ten other stations, including Malahide, will have their opening hours to the public reduced and will in future be closed to the public from 10pm until 8am.

"The query is more appropriate to the Garda Press Office as it relates to operational policing matters. You may wish to redirect your enquiry to them," explained a spokesperson for the OPW.

The Garda Press Office and was unable to shed any light on the matter.

Sunday Independent