Monday 21 January 2019

TDs attack reopening of garda station

Under fire: Station is in Shane Ross’s constituency. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Under fire: Station is in Shane Ross’s constituency. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The Dail's public spending watchdog has criticised the controversial decision to re-open Stepaside garda station in Transport Minister Shane Ross's constituency.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will this week publish a report which will be heavily critical of the decision to reopen the station in the Dublin-Rathdown constituency.

Mr Ross campaigned to have the station reopened and secured a commitment in the Programme for Government to have the closure of garda stations reviewed.

The final review recommended the reopening of Stepaside station.

At a PAC committee hearing, Assistant Commissioner for the Dublin Regional Area Pat Leahy criticised the decision and said it would not have been his priority for policing resources.

Mr Leahy said he would have preferred to send gardai to Ballyfermot, Ronanstown and the north and south inner city before Stepaside.

Several PAC sources said the committee's report, which will be published on Tuesday, is supportive of the Assistant Commissioner's view.

"Pat Leahy made it very clear that the issue of opening garda stations should be made on need and priority and we have come down heavily on that point of view," a source said.

Mr Ross has denied the reopening of the station in his constituency amounted to "stroke politics" and insisted it was chosen based on criteria set out in the review of garda stations.

The station has not as yet reopened and remains boarded up.

Sunday Independent

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