Fine Gael TD opposes reopening of Stepaside Garda station

Maria Bailey says there is a far more compelling case for a new station in Cherrywood

 Stepaside Garda station in Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Stepaside Garda station in Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Minister for Transport Shane Ross’s demand to reopen Stepaside Garda station is facing strong resistance from a prominent Fine Gael TD in south Dublin.

Dún Laoghaire TD Maria Bailey has said there is a far more compelling case for the new Garda station serving that catchment to be located in Cherrywood or Ballyogan, close to the M50 and where thousands of new homes and offices will be built in the next few years.

Ms Bailey has said there is a need for a Garda station for the three south Dublin areas, which will see a substantial increase in population growth over the next few years. Cherrywood is also serviced by the Luas.

She said the Garda station in Stepaside was not a modern purpose-built building and did not have sufficient space for a helicopter pad, drone facilities and the training facilities required for a large metropolitan Garda station.

Available sites

She said there were sites available in Cherrywood and Ballyogan that would cater for such needs.

“Cherrywood and Ballygoan have quick access onto the M50. The Stepaside site is far too small to provide the facilities that are needed,” she said.

Ms Bailey said it was not about bouncing one location off the other but catering best for what the Garda Síochána requires. She pointed out that while Cherrywood was in her constituency of Dún Laoghaire, the other alternative of Ballyogan was in Mr Ross’s constituency of Dublin Rathdown.

“We just need to cater for the growing population of these three area and ensue a visible Garda presence,” she said.

The reopening of Stepaside Garda station has been a key demand of Mr Ross in Government, along with the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Cutbacks

Last year, a report drawn up the Garda recommended that Stepaside be one of the six stations across the county to be reopened. It was one of 139 stations that had been closed between 2012 and 2013, during a period of cutbacks.

The report, published in September 2017, said that while crime in the area had significantly increased, its population growth of 20 per cent over the previous decade had justified a station in the area.

Last September Mr Ross denied to RTÉ that he had been engaged in stroke politics in getting the station re-opened: “I campaigned for the reopening of all the Garda stations that shouldn’t have been closed in that period of time. It was a bad policy, it was a wrong policy,” he insisted.

It is understood that senior gardaí in the region have made a case for a new purpose-built station that would include facilities for modern policing purposes, and also have adequate space. It is not know if a particular location has been specified.