The Stepaside community have some good news regarding their Garda
The Office of Public Works (OPW) have now taken possession of the station site with preparations for building a new, purpose built Garda Station said to be starting shortly.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D. said: “In the coming weeks, the OPW will be securing the site and commencing preparatory works, while planning and procurement will also soon be underway simultaneously.
“It has been a long journey but thankfully the end reward for all our work is finally in sight.
“Cllr Kevin Daly and I would like to pay tribute the Stepaside Business Association and indeed thank every single local resident who refused to give up what became a five-year struggle.
“We are now in the last lap of restoring a much needed Garda presence in this area.
“We appreciate the support given by local T.D. Catherine Martin and Minister Josepha Madigan amongst others in calling for the re-opening of our Garda Station and I would like to appeal to the Labour Party to acknowledge, even at this late stage, that the restoration of community policing and a Garda station to Stepaside has rectified a damaging mistake made while they were in office.”
Michael Fleming of Fleming’s Butchers told Dublin Gazette that his house and business has been broken into since the station has closed. He said the locals are “very happy” that progress is now being made.
“We were told about eight weeks ago that there was a timeline put in place and it seems to be going to plan.
“We’re hoping to see hoarding going up around the station now and works starting to take place in the near future. We’ve being told that the new structure will be built and ready to go by May of next so fingers crossed it will all stay on track.”
There were talks that Stepaside Garda station could reopen as a modular Garda station under plans being considered by OPW. But Mr Fleming said the community are relieved that it will not be a modular station.
“People were initially concerned when they heard it could be a modular station but it’s going to be a purpose-built building now, not just a prefab. We’ve yet to see plans and we’re hoping to get them in the near future.
“We’ll be meeting with Minister Ross to go over the plans to make sure that we’re happy with everything that’s going to happen within the grounds of the station.
“Hopefully everything stays on track now and there’s no hiccups. Please God early next year we’ll have a station back in the village.”