Malahide Garda Station will be downgraded in just over six weeks. From March the station will be closed from 10pm to 6am. Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O’Brien has said he is extremely disappointed by the lack of response from Fine Gael and Labour Oireachtas members in Dublin North to the announcement.
Senator O’Brien said: “The silence from Fine Gael and Labour on this issue is extraordinary. The Government has decided that Malahide Garda Station will be closed from 10pm to 6am from March. On top of that the non-emergency phone lines will actually divert to Coolock Garda station during these hours so people simply won’t be able to contact Malahide gardai. It means that 50,000 people in the Howth-Malahide local electoral area will be without a full-time Garda station for the first time.
“This is a major shock to the community. I raised this issue on the number of occasions when concerns were being voiced locally but the Government refused to give any assurance to residents of Malahide, Portmarnock and Kinsealy and proceeded with the cut.
“The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has even confirmed to me that there will be no significant savings from this change. If Fine Gael and Labour actually believe that restricting the opening hours will improve the service to the community by having more Gardaí on the beat, it would make sense to restrict all Garda Stations’ opening hours. The simple fact is that it will not improve the service to the public.
“As a public representative the only thing I was involved in helping close was the Headshop in Malahide. The community-led campaign in that regard ensured this came about and demonstrates that a community campaign in Malahide, Kinsealy and Portmarnock can be successful in reversing this downgrade.
“I will continue to campaign against this major cut to community services. Hundreds of people have already contacted my office to voice their concern and I will be meeting with community groups and representatives in the campaign against the downgrading of Malahide Garda Station.”