After seven years of lying idle the Stepaside Garda Station has finally re-opened.
Closed nearly a decade ago due to budgetary cutbacks, Stepaside was one of 139 stations country-wide to shut between 2012 and 2013.
However, at 7am on Monday, March 9, the station formally re-opened and will be available to the public between 7am and 9pm everyday with a 24/7 Garda presence.
Acting Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross (Ind) entered the previous government on the condition that the station would re-open and was the first person to arrive at the new facility.
He said: “I was at the station at 7am this morning to welcome the Gardai.
“I have always stressed the need for community Gardai here and I praise the community for keeping the faith that the station would reopen.”
The station will be ran by Sergeant Shane Curtis and will be manned by 25 Gardai who will police the area which also consists of a roads policing unit.
Work began on the premises in February 2019 with the estimated cost of its refurbishing coming to €1.5m.
Local Independent councillor Michael Fleming said he was “delighted to welcome Sergeant Shane Curtis and his colleagues to Stepaside Garda Station this morning at 7am for the official reopening of the garda station.
“It is testament to our community effort to fight for this and see the result today.
“Our community now has enhanced security and we hope that this will act as a deterrent to criminals.”
The reopening of the station was not originally welcomed by Gardai hierarchy, however, with assistant commissioner Pat Leahy previously saying it was not a “number one priority” due to “other pressing demands on resources”.
He said: “If I was being given extra additional manpower today Stepaside would not be my first allocation.
“I could not send guards to Stepaside before I’d send them to Ballyfermot and Ronanstown and the North Inner City.”