STEPA­SIDE SETS A BAD PRECE­DENT

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

BACK in Fe­bru­ary, the In­de­pen­dent Al­liance group­ing de­manded the set­ting-up of an in­de­pen­dent re­view on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­form within An Garda Síochána as the price for its continued in­volve­ment in the Gov­ern­ment. This led to the Com­mis­sion on the Fu­ture of Polic­ing be­ing an­nounced.

At the time, when I wrote about that de­vel­op­ment in this news­pa­per, I said that I would be keep­ing my eye on progress re­gard­ing the promised re­open­ing of cer­tain Garda sta­tions.

I re­ferred to the fact that the Pro­gramme for Gov­ern­ment had stated that the Polic­ing Author­ity would be man­dated to over­see a re­view of the bound­aries of Garda dis­tricts and of the ‘dis­burse­ment of Garda sta­tions’. Then I ques­tioned how Shane Ross could rec­on­cile his cru­sade against what he termed the ‘decades of po­lit­i­cal crony­ism in ju­di­cial and other ap­point­ments’ with his cam­paign to have Stepa­side Garda Sta­tion re-opened.

I was un­easy about the pos­si­bil­ity that a min­is­ter, or in­deed any public rep­re­sen­ta­tive, could pres­surise Garda man­age­ment to open a Garda sta­tion in one area as op­posed to an­other.

Noth­ing I have heard in the mean­time, es­pe­cially in the last week or so, has al­layed my un­ease in this re­spect. To be seen to al­lo­cate Garda re­sources on the ba­sis of po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­di­ency is an ex­tremely bad prece­dent.

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