‘Obvious’ Stepaside would be reopened, says Assistant Commissioner

‘Confined critera’ meant Stepaside had to be among available stations – John O’Driscoll

Stepaside Garda station. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Stepaside Garda station. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The author of a Garda report into the reopening of six stations has said it was “obvious” Stepaside would be chosen, based on the criteria designed by the Government.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll told the Oireachtas committee on justice he was never approached or pressurised by any politician or individual to ensure any particular Garda station was included in the list.

He confirmed he received “a number of reminders over a number of weeks” in the run-up to June 9th from the former commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to complete the work. The second interim report was given to the Government on June 9th, seven days after Leo Varadkar was elected Fine Gael leader. The Cabinet considered the report on June 13th and the reopening of Stepaside station was announced by Minister for Transport Shane Ross.

Asked why it was “obvious” Stepaside would be included, Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll said there were only four stations in Dublin available, based on Government criteria.

“When the criteria was provided, it had to be among available stations, or available buildings, as they were then. To what extent there was knowledge by other people of how confined that was, I cannot say.”

The Government’s programme for partnership commits to the reopening of six stations at the discretion of the Garda.