Controversial €1.5m Stepaside garda station to re-open

The controversial Stepaside garda station championed by Transport Minister Shane Ross will re-open next summer - and cost the taxpayer at least €1.5m.

The Office of Public Works confirmed the plan in a detailed document on Thursday morning, despite ongoing questions over the need to re-open the facility and continuing opposition issues over why it was chosen for the move.

In a statement to the Dáil's public accounts committee, the OPW chair Maurice Buckley said last week on October 3 garda officials confirmed they have agreed to "refurbish" the controversial south Dublin station.

Citing the decision as "the most effective way from both a cost and time perspective", he said the garda estates office said as a result "it would be expected [Stepaside garda station] will be fully completed and operational by June 2019".

In a subsequent discussion with PAC members, Mr Buckley confirmed the likely cost of the project will be €1.5m, but did not give other costs for the re-opening of five other short-listed stations.

During the same discussion, Mr Buckley also confirmed the sale of 40 garda stations in recent years has brought in just over €3m for the exchequer.

The vast majority of the now sold stations are based in rural areas, many of which have been the subject of repeated and disputed concerns they are being left at risk of criminal gangs and burglaries without adequate garda protection.

By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith
Irish Examiner Political Correspondent

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