Garda response came from city centre due to no vehicles available in Tallaght

By Mary Dennehy

A TRAFFIC unit from a Dublin city centre station responded to a three-car collision in Tallaght last week – a situation, which residents believe, strengthens the argument for additional Garda resources in the area.

The need for extra officers, especially community police, in the Tallaght area has been on the agenda for the past two decades.

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However, in the run-up-to General Election 2016 constituents have firmly placed the issue back on the political radar as local residents and businesses call for investment in Tallaght Garda Station.

In recent weeks, residents have been contacting The Echo over delayed Garda response times, with a patrol car not reaching a three-car collision on the Blessington Road, beside Hazel Grove Golf Course, for 30 minutes on Thursday, February 18.

It has been confirmed that a call was received by Tallaght Garda Station at 8.40pm on Thursday.

However, a car, which was dispatched from the city centre, didn’t arrive until 9.10pm – due to the lack of an available car in Tallaght.

At 9.14pm, more than 30 minutes after the call was logged, a patrol car from Tallaght Garda Station arrived on the scene.

Dublin Fire Brigade, who attended the scene and had the task of removing injured people from a vehicle, was supported by residents – who donned hi-viz jackets and helped to direct traffic away from the scene until officers arrived.

Residents have stressed to The Echo that they believe local officers based at Tallaght are doing a “great job” with the resources that they have, but that the station needs additional support and investment – and they have been fighting the station’s case with politicians on the doorstep.

There are currently 258 officers across the district of Tallaght and Rathfarnham, a team which mans the district 24 hours, 365 days a year.

These officers work across a number of areas such as community policing, drug squad, courts, juvenile liaison and the traffic core.

When contacted by The Echo, Superintendent Peter Duff said: “The demand for policing services varies across the district throughout the day, and we have to prioritise calls.

“We always endeavour to get to calls as soon as possible and we understand that it is very frustrating for people who have to wait on the gardaí.

“However, we do dispatch as best we can, and in relation to the accident last week [on the Blessington Road] we were responding to a domestic violence call and a burglary at the time.

“A car was dispatched from town and our control room was in communication with Dublin Fire Brigade, which was on the scene, until we could get a car there.”

When asked about resources, Supt Duff said: “Every Superintendent in the country is looking for more resources, and I have made a case for Tallaght and Rathfarnham.

“You have to remember that An Garda Siochana is like any other office, we have people out on maternity leave, sick leave and training courses – with 20 of our Gardaí currently tied up in a trial.

“Last year however, we did undergo a comprehensive fleet replacement programme which was welcome and we look forward to continuing to work with the community.”

Gardaí are currently investigating the three-car collision last Thursday, which saw one car leave the scene after the incident.

Contact Tallaght Garda Station on 6666000.



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