Garda chief would rather invest in Ballyfermot or Ronanstown than re-open Stepaside

By Maurice Garvey 

ASSISTANT Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy said he would rather put resources into Ballyfermot or Ronanstown, rather than reopening Stepaside Garda Station.

Steapside is one of six garda stations garda authorities have recommended for re-opening – based on criteria given to An Garda Síochána by the Government.

Ballyfermot Garda Station 3 01062017

Speaking to the Public Accounts Committee, Commissioner Leahy said purely based on policing, he would send gardai to Ballyfermot, Ronanstown and the north and south inner city.

News of the announcement will have come of no surprise to residents and community leaders in Ballyfermot and Ronanstown, who have long called for additional resources to tackle crime and anti-social issues in the areas.

In September, Housing Minister Shane Ross denied the decision to reopen Stepaside Garda Station was the result of “stroke politics.”

At the PAC, Mr Leahy said in terms of resource allocation Stepaside would not be his number one priority.

The final report was approved by the Acting Garda Commissioner and forwarded to the Department of Justice this week, the PAC heard.

Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin said stations at Ballinspittle in Cork, Bawnboy in Cavan, Donard in Wicklow, Leighlinbridge in Carlow, Rush and Stepaside have been selected to reopen following the closure of 139 stations during the recession.

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