Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has expressed his disappointment at the decision of senior Garda management to leave Tallaght Garda Station out of its 5 year building and refurbishment programme.
The Sinn Féin TD submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Justice and Equality on the issue and the Minister’s reply revealed that the current building and a refurbishment programme for Garda Stations does not include provision for a new Garda Station in Tallaght.
Crowe said that we have gone from the suggestion of a second new satellite station being built in Tallaght West to being left out altogether of any development plans or proposals in the Garda Síochána Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“The current layout and footprint of the Tallaght Garda Station is inadequate and hampers the work of the Gardaí and their engagement with the general public. Even the most cursory visit to the station would show a visitor that it is overcrowded, inadequate, and that it lacks space for the Gardaí and the general public who need to engage with them.
“The Tallaght Station is currently too small and accommodation has had to be secured in nearby premises to alleviate congestion. While I welcome that the Programme does include the provision of a Property and Exhibit Store (PEMS) and that the development of this property storage facility is ongoing, this is no real substitute for the growing needs of the Gardaí and a large population that needs access and services from the station.
“It is surprising that senior Garda management have not come to the same obvious conclusion and for many residents this reinforces their view that they are being ignored and let down when it comes to the rollout of a 21st century policing service.
“In my opinion, if there was more space there would be greater accommodation for parking, secure storage for stolen or recovered vehicles, and increased CCTV monitoring of criminality as the current space is at maximum. It would also ensure that the Garda community policing would a be in situ rather in a separate building, there might also be greater access to privacy for citizens needing to report incidents or access forms and services, and the inadequate phone service might finally be upgraded.
“We have gone from the suggestion of a second new satellite station being built in Tallaght West to being left out of any development plans or proposals in the Garda Síochána Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 plan.
“This is extremely disappointing and unacceptable. The current Garda Station in Tallaght is clearly inadequate for the needs of the Gardaí working there and for the general public that needs to access services on these premises.”
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans for a new Garda station in Tallaght; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is overcrowding in the station; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Seán Crowe
The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, including responsibility for the formulation of proposals in relation to the opening and closing of Garda stations. In addition, the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. This includes identifying and progressing any necessary remedial or refurbishment works required at individual stations in addition to decisions. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Síochána Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016 – 2021, which is an ambitious 5 year building Programme reflecting the priorities of An Garda Síochána, 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 by Garda authorities 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 by the Garda authorities that to assist with accommodation in the existing Garda station in Tallaght, the OPW has provided additional accommodation for An Garda Síochána in the close proximity to the station, at the Plaza Office Complex, Tallaght. I understand that An Garda Síochána took up occupation of this accommodation in October 2009.
- Minister for Justice