Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has made a final plea to the Justice Minister Alan Shatter not to shut down Stepaside Garda Station. The busy south Dublin station is set to close its doors for good at 9pm tonight, despite widespread opposition from the community, local businesses and members of the gardaí.
Deputy Collins has described it as ‘a sad day for community policing’.
He commented, “This decision makes absolutely no sense. Stepaside is a very busy station covering a large suburban area with a rapidly growing population. The 34 gardaí stationed there have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve their community, particularly during the recent surge in burglaries, muggings, thefts and petty crime across south Dublin.
“I strongly believe that Minister Shatter is taking our garda force in the wrong direction, putting communities at risk and piling enormous pressure on members of the force. The decision to shut down 100 community garda stations this year, including Stepaside, was a political decision and not a financial one. The Minister himself has admitted that it will save very little money.
“While the savings achieved by closing Stepaside Garda Station will be negligible, the impact on the local community will be significant. It’s deeply disappointing that Minister Shatter has refused to listen to the genuine concerns of local homeowners, businesses and indeed members of the gardaí about the dangers of removing this station from the community.
“I am making a final appeal to the Minister to reconsider this damaging decision before it is too late,” said Deputy Collins.