The criteria used to allocate Garda resources must be transparent – not narrowly set to achieve a predetermined outcome, as is evident from today’s Garda report on the reopening of Stepaside station, the Social Democrats said today.

Party co-leader Catherine Murphy TD, a member of the PAC, said:

“The Garda report published today shows that there may be justifications for reopening Stepaside station. The problem is that the criteria used in this report was way too narrow – so narrow in fact that the re-opening of this station was inevitable.

“It’s hard to view this as anything other than a case of undue interference in the allocation of Garda resources. The public deserves better than this when it comes to their safety and security. This entire saga shows that we need to move to a transparent system for the allocation of Garda resources based on sound evidence, including the census of population and reliable crime statistics.

“As a public representative and a member of the Public Accounts Committee, it has been incredibly frustrating to have to repeatedly ask for information about Stepaside station. The Minister for Justice could have published this report months ago instead of dragging the issue out and then finally capitulating and publishing the report on a weekend morning. There are many unanswered questions still, including how much it will cost to reopen the six stations named in the report, and whether they need to be refurbished.”

ENDS

30 September 2017