herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Garda station misses revamp in cash crisis

ONE OF Dublin's busiest garda stations is to remain open -- because there's no cash to close and refurbish it.

Plans to shut down Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station have been postponed due to a lack of funding, the Herald has learned.

The controversial closure of the north inner city garda station is not expected to take place this year due to a "funding issue," a source said.

Inner city families had been angry since the refurbishment plan was announced and it was mooted that policing in the busy garda 'U' district -- which covers a large area of the north inner city -- would be run from the nearby Mountjoy station.

"It's a funding issue. When the funds become available the refurbishment will start," the source said. "They're hoping that it'll be towards the end of this year, but I don't think it's going to happen this year."

Local councillor Christy Burke welcomed the news, but said people would not be satisfied until they had a detailed plan of the works and the re-opening date of the station.

"Certainly we would welcome that. The residents have been quite prepared to take on a campaign if there was going to be any threat of closure," he said.

"Any threat of closure would be treated in the community with contempt. We need a guarantee of it reopening after refurbishment.

"If it's in seriously bad condition, then it's fine to refurbish it, but we need them to give us a planned date for the reopening."

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station was necessary in an answer to a written question in the Dail earlier this month.



REFURBISHMENT



"Due to its condition, it is necessary to temporarily vacate Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station to facilitate refurbishment of the premises."

"It is anticipated that work [on Mountjoy Garda Station] will be completed in the near future and that the refurbished building will accommodate the station party from Fitzgibbon Street while refurbishment works are carried out at that station."

He added: "The programme of replacement and refurbishment of garda accommodation around the country is based on agreed priorities established by An Garda Siochana.

"It is progressed in close co-operation with the Office of Public Works, which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of garda accommodation."

hnews@herald.ie

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