The decision not to extend or refurbish Tallaght garda station could “impede the gardai’s ability to police locally” according to one local representative.
Cllr Charlie O’Connor (FF) made the comments after it was revealed that the Department of Justice did not have any plans to carry out remedial works at the station.
This was confirmed in correspondence from Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to the Fianna Fail party last week.
At last weeks’ meeting of the West Tallaght Local Policing Forum, Garda Chief Superintendent, Kevin Gralton called for a new Garda Station in Tallaght and described the current facilities as “seriously over stretched and unfit for purpose”.
Cllr O’Connor echoed the calls to upgrade the station.
He said: “The existing Garda station in Tallaght is over 30 years old. At present, gardai policing the Tallaght area are forced to operate between offices in the Station and meeting space in the nearby Plaza Hotel.
“The effective policing of crime and anti-social behaviour in our area is essential to ensuring that local residents feel safe and protected.”
He added that there were a number of ongoing issues with crime in the community that require a response.
“The station in our area is no longer adequate enough to manage all of the facets of community policing.
“It’s deeply disappointing that neither the Minister for Justice nor Garda authorities are willing to recognise the pressure on those within the police force stationed in Tallaght.
“There is a vacant site beside the existing station which could be easily acquired to facilitate an extension, yet no resources have been allocated to progress with plans.”
In response to a parliamentary question on the issue, Minister Flanagan said there were no plans to extend the station.
He said: “The Garda Siochana Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016 – 2021, which is an ambitious five-year building Programme reflecting the priorities of An Garda Siochana, will benefit some 30 locations throughout the State.
“I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Programme does not include the provision of a new Garda station in Tallaght, and I further understand from the Garda authorities that there are no plans to undertake a major refurbishment of this Garda station.
“However, I am informed that the Programme does include the provision of a Property and Exhibit Store (PEMS) at Tallaght Garda Station and that the development of this property storage facility is ongoing in conjunction with the OPW.
“Finally, I am informed that to assist with accommodation in the existing Garda station in Tallaght, the OPW has provided additional accommodation for Garda in close proximity to the station, at the Plaza Office Complex, Tallaght.