‘Stepa­side one of six sta­tions to open again’ – Varad­kar

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Se­nan Molony Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor se­nan.molony@dai­ly­mail.ie

ALL six Garda sta­tions that were short­listed for re­open­ing will be re­opened, the Taoiseach con­firmed yes­ter­day.

The Stepa­side Garda sta­tion row will be on the Cabi­net agenda next Tues­day, with the min­is­ters now mov­ing to stem a ‘stroke pol­i­tics’ row.

Shane Ross, Trans­port Min­is­ter and leader of the In­de­pen­dent Al­liance, is at the eye of the storm af­ter a blis­ter­ing Prime Time row over al­leged in­ter­fer­ence with polic­ing con­sid­er­a­tions in or­der to se­cure the re­open­ing of Stepa­side in his own con­stituency.

It is three months since it was an­nounced that Stepa­side, which was one of 139 Garda sta­tions closed in 2013, would again be staffed with gar­daí – Mr Ross’s price for in­volve­ment with the Fine Gael mi­nor­ity Gov­ern­ment.

Leo Varad­kar de­clared on a visit to Estonia: ‘Those six have been iden­ti­fied, and they are go­ing to be opened. Stepa­side is not yet opened, but it will be.’

Mr Varad­kar was asked about a Garda re­port on re­open­ings, which the Public Ac­counts Com­mit­tee Sta­tion: Min­is­ter Shane Ross heard this week also rec­om­mended that Leigh­lin­bridge (Co. Car­low), Donard (Co. Wick­low) and Rush (Co. Dublin), also re­turn to ser­vice. Two other sta­tions are to be opened but no of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment has been made about their lo­ca­tion.

The Taoiseach said he had ‘no dif­fi­culty’ with the Garda re­port on the is­sue go­ing to the Cabi­net next week and af­ter­wards pub­lished.

‘I have not ac­tu­ally seen it yet, or don’t re­call see­ing it if I did. So I don’t see why it should not be pub­lished, but they (the gar­daí) may have a good rea­son to do so.’

On Prime Time on Thurs­day, Mr Ross claimed Stepa­side was ap­proved for open­ing ‘be­cause it was such a com­pelling case.’

‘Stepa­side is not yet open but it will be’

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