The new Garda Station on Dublin’s O’Connell Street will make it a “far more attractive and pleasant place”, Fine Gael’s Ciarán Cannon has predicted.
The Galway East TD has previously been critical of the street and last year controversially tweeted that people walking around the city centre at night are “deeply concerned about [their] personal safety”.
Today, the new Garda Station was officially opened by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Deputy Cannon has high hopes for it.
“The case I made back then... is that to make O’Connell Street and that whole spine - from Parnell Square up to Westmoreland Street and on to Grafton Street - a pleasant experience for the people that live there and visit there, we do need that greater Garda presence,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
Deputy Cannon said the city centre is “not a distinctly unpleasant place” but that uniformed Gardaí are necessary to make people feel safe.
“It gives people a degree of reassurance when they are on the streets that there is a policing presence there,” he said.
“And they have the reassurance of knowing that if their safety is threatened at any point, there’s a Garda only a couple of hundred metres away and I’m pleased to see that the station is being opened.”
Opening the new station, An Taoiseach said he hoped it would especially make a difference to women who live, work and visit the area.
“I was listening to the Deputy Lord Mayor earlier and it really struck me that particularly for women, sometimes, in a setting can feel unsafe,” he said.
“She said that having a Garda Station on the main street allows her to breathe.
“Really that’s what this is about; doing what he can to make our cities more liveable places and places that people feel safe in and that’s about prominent Garda Stations such as this.”
The new station will serve the DMR North Central Garda Division which had 641 Gardaí assigned to it as of January.
Main image: The opening of the Garda Station. Picture by: Newstalk.