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80 gardai in dark over plan to close Harcourt Terrace

ALMOST 80 gardai serving at one of the capital's most established garda stations have no idea where they will be redeployed when the station closes down next month.

Harcourt Terrace Garda Station in south Dublin is one of around 40 stations to be closed down by the Government this year, with more planned closures next year.

Speaking at the Garda Representative Association's annual conference, its president Damien McCarthy, who works in Harcourt Terrace, pointed out that 77 gardai based at the busy station are in the dark about where they will be restationed.

Mr McCarthy pointed out that the station should not be closed, saying it deals with 3,000 prisoners per year including a number of "high-profile" suspects who are sent to the garda station because it is located close to the district's headquarters at Harcourt Street.

The GRA president also questioned what will happen to the state-of-the-art equipment at Harcourt Terrace and said the station's closure will "lead to a significant increase in pressure on policing in Dublin city centre".

The GRA is to use its conference today and tomorrow to highlight the fact that about 700 Garda members are attacked every year while on duty.

Mr McCarthy said the association wanted the introduction of new legislation that would create a specific offence of assaulting a garda or other emergency worker such as paramedics or fire fighters.