A new Garda station is due to open on O’Connell Street in Dublin on Friday, almost a year after Fine Gael Justice Minister Helen McEntee presented plans for it.
The train station, near the Savoy cinema on the city’s main thoroughfare, will include a public office and will be seen as a launch pad for efforts to combat crime in the region.
It will also house the Irish Tourism Assistance Service, which will offer practical assistance to visitors who are victims of crime.
Concerns about one of the capital’s most famous streets have mounted – last October, RTÉ’s prime time focused on the area’s problems with drug trafficking, violence and physical humiliation.
Before the official opening on Friday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it would help Gardaí reassure the public, visitors and businesses that the city center is safe.
In a location heavily frequented by tourists and businesses, the station aims to bring high-visibility policing and be a hub for Operation Citizen, through which Gardaí have been cracking down on anti-social behavior and public order. Operation Spire has also dealt with street drug trafficking in the area.
Justice Secretary Simon Harris said the site would increase Lake Garda’s visibility “and help both deter crime and reassure communities”.
Plans for the new station, which is located at 13A Upper O’Connell Street, were unveiled by Ms McEntee at a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party last April.
Announcing the station’s opening, the Justice Department said new community security guards would also patrol the O’Connell Street area on weekends, providing a visible presence “that will act both as a deterrent against criminal and anti-social behavior and as a means of reassurance.” communities”.
This system was criticized last November by Sinn Féin Justice spokesman Martin Kenny as “sticking tape” “because of the government’s continued failure to provide an adequate policing system”.
Funded by the Community Safety Innovation Fund, community wardens will patrol Dublin’s north inner city to “monitor and report anti-social behavior and any issues affecting the safety of the community”.
Much hope is being pinned on the new Garda station to help reverse the bad reputation that O’Connell Street has had to shake in recent years.
In last October’s Dáil, Social Democrat TD Róisín Shortall observed that “almost everything on the one hand, from the Spire to the Ambassador Theater, is dilapidated and derelict”.
https://www.irishtimes.com/crime-law/2023/03/10/garda-station-on-oconnell-street-will-tackle-criminal-and-anti-social-behaviour/ Garda Station on O’Connell Street will crack down on ‘criminal and anti-social behaviour’ – The Irish Times