Petition to reopen Rush Garda Station must not be forgotten in Ministers list – O’Reilly
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O’Reilly has today reminded the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald of a petition requesting the reopening of Rush Garda station and the restoration of services to Lusk amid media reports she has made a decision on the pilot. The petition is the result of local demand for the reopening of the station. Deputy O’Reilly collected the signatures last year and made it available at the time to the Minister for consideration.
Deputy O’Reilly said:
“The Programme for Partnership Government made a firm commitment to launch a pilot scheme to reopen six Garda stations. However, following questions to the Minister previously it seemed there was scant detail on the basis upon which stations would be chosen for the pilot. Indeed, while the Minister advised that the Garda Commissioner and the Policing Authority have responsibility for this area, she did say that she will have a role in this.
“Amid media reports today that the minister has finalised her list for the pilot scheme, and indeed that Stepaside Garda station will be one of those in the pilot, questions remain on the other five stations. Moreover, what criteria have been used in the selection and when will the list become public.
“The closure of Rush Garda Station has left a void in the policing of North Fingal. Rush, due to its geographical location, is distinctly disadvantaged in regards to responses to calls, with the only fully operational Garda Station in Balbriggan.
“Having received numerous calls from residents and shop owners in relation to this, I spent a large amount of time last year collecting a petition of signatures in the local community. Every weekend, we were meeting people on this and they voiced their anger over the current situation. In that regard, I submitted the petition to the Minister to demonstrate first-hand the groundswell of support for the re-opening of the station. I believe that the petition and the local support carry great weight in terms of the merits of having Rush in the pilot.
“In recent months, serious violent crime has visited the community of Fingal and I believe that as part of the pilot scheme, all areas should be considered equally on their merit and their need for increased Garda presence in the community. Reopening Rush Garda station and restoring services to Lusk, I believe, should be part of this.
“This petition shows that the people of Dublin Fingal are particularly eager that this station be reopened and services restored. I will continue to push for this with the Minister and the Department in the weeks ahead.”