Inner city garda station to re-open as part of €1.6m task force plans
The Taoiseach has announced that Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station will become fully operational again after it was closed down almost five years ago.
The re-opening of the station is part of an initiative which includes €1.6m being allocated to the North East Inner City, which will focus on the long-term development for the area.
Enda Kenny will chair a ministerial taskforce to support both the economic and social regeneration of the area.
Former Workplace Relations Commission chairman Kieran Mulvey has been asked to prepare a report by the end of November outlining a 10-year vision for the inner city.
Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station, located in the heart of the north inner city, was closed down in 2011 on health and safety grounds.
The building only housed a public office as well as the Divisional Burglary Response Unit (BRU).
As well as re-opening the station, the Taoiseach announced that €1m will be spent on developing sports facilities over the course of 2016.
A further €500,000 will be implemented in 'small-scale' investment, such as cleaning up graffiti, while another €100,000 will be used to support drug-related projects in the area.
Speaking at St Laurence O'Toole's school in Seville Place yesterday afternoon, Mr Kenny said the Government will show that "it can respond to social disadvantage, social inequality and unfairness".
"Too long has the area been neglected, too long have they been left behind, too many people are suffering from the impact of drugs and drug abuse," he said. "We set out to demonstrate over the coming weeks, to set out the real recovery of the north inner city, through justice and the work of the gardai, education, the initiatives of the community and the infrastructure that people need in their lives.
"I will see to it, in so far as we can do, that people can walk these streets safely, can go to work in safety and have the opportunity to live life and play their part, as we would expect them to do."
Deputy Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald welcomed the initiative "whole-heartedly", but raised concerns about the structure of the taskforce.
"I am disappointed that the taskforce is simply ministerial, I've argued all along for full community participation," the Dublin North Central TD said.
"When I initially raised this with the Tanaiste months ago I always had in mind that it would be an inclusive forum where ministers have a key role but the community needs to be at the absolute heart of it."
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohue, who is also a Dublin North Central TD, welcomed the initiative saying he believed it would improve the lives of people living in the north inner city.
"This Government is committed to tackling the problems that decades of underinvestment have caused. I and my Fine Gael colleague, Cllr Ray McAdam, will ensure that this new investment will make a real difference," he said.
The announcement of the North East Inner City initiative coincides with the launch of a Special Crime Taskforce charged with tackling Dublin's organised crime gangs.
The 44-man unit will be controlled by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) and will also work alongside CAB.