112. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the pilot project in respect of the reopening of Garda stations has commenced; the stations that have reopened; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47510/17]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, including the opening and closing of Garda stations.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a pilot scheme to reopen 6 Garda stations, both urban and rural, to determine possible positive impacts that such openings will have on criminal activity, with special emphasis on burglaries, theft and public order.
At its meeting on 13 June 2017, the Government noted the Garda Commissioner’s interim Report in this regard, which analysed population and crime trends and the availability of stations for possible reuse. The report contained a recommendation that the former Stepaside station in Co. Dublin be reopened on a pilot basis and indicated that, subject to further analysis, the Commissioner is likely to recommend in the final report the inclusion of the former stations at Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow and Donard, Co. Wicklow in the pilot scheme. If a second station is to be reopened in Dublin, the Report indicates that the Commissioner is likely, subject to further analysis, to recommend that the former station at Rush, Co. Dublin be included in the pilot scheme.
I am informed that work is ongoing in An Garda Síochána to finalise the report and I understand that it is expected to be received shortly, at which point it will be brought to Government. Question No. 113 answered with Question No. 101.