Old Stepaside Garda Station to be refurbished and open in mid-2019
Plan to install prefab station has been abandoned
The former Garda station in Stepaside which is set to be re-furbished. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
The old Stepaside Garda station, closed five years ago, is to be refurbished instead of being replaced by a new purpose-built facility, according to local business representatives.
The reopening of the station was a key demand of Minister for Transport Shane Ross for entering government.
The old station was one of 139 stations closed between 2012 and 2013, during a period of cutbacks. Earlier this year it was reported that the Stepaside station would be replaced by a prefabricated building beside the current facility, which would be demolished.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) was understood to have favoured installing the modular station instead of refurbishing the old station, due to cost implications. The advice from the OPW was that the cost of refurbishing Stepaside station may exceed €2 million, due to the poor condition of the station. The modular option would be significantly cheaper but could still reach €1.4 million.
However, Stepaside Business Association on Wednesday night said it had received confirmation that the station would be “reopened in the original building and not a purpose built building in the car park”. Association chairman Michael Fleming said he had received written confirmation of the plan to refurbish the existing building.
Six Garda stations are due to reopen as part of a commitment contained in the Programme for a Partnership Government.
They are Ballinspittle in Cork, Bawnboy in Cavan, Donard in Wicklow, Rush in Dublin, Leighlinbridge in Carlow and Stepaside. The Stepaside project is expected to be the most expensive.
Mr Ross, in a short statement on Wednesday night, said: “I am delighted that the OPW confirmed to me today that the Stepaside Garda station can reopen. There is no need for a modular building on the grounds. This is something that the residents of Stepaside and surrounding environs have spent years fighting for. I am informed that the station will be open in mid 2019, 24/7. I welcome news that the old station will be restored.”