‘Stepaside one of six stations to open again’ – Varadkar
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 So I don’t see why it should not be published, but they (the gardaí) may have a good reason to do so.’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’