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File photo Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

100 garda stations to close and 28 districts to amalgamate

Apart from the closure of 98 part-time garda stations, two large stations in Stepaside and Kill O’ the Grange, Dublin will also close.

ONE HUNDRED GARDA stations are to close, 28 garda districts will amalgamate into 14 and the garda station at Dublin Airport and six stations in Cork City will have their opening hours revised.

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, announced the Annual Policing Plan for 2013 before the Houses of the Oireachtas today with the aim of making the force more effective and efficient and to reduce its costs significantly.

Of the stations to be closed, 98 per cent are currently open part-time, 94 per cent are open for 3 hours or less each day and 88 per cent are served by one garda member.

In addition to the closure of part-time garda stations, two large stations in Stepaside in South Dublin and Kill O’ the Grange in Dun Laoghaire are to close.

It is anticipated that most of the stations will be closed in the first six months of 2013.

Speaking about the changes, Minister Shatter said consolidating stations will mean more effective policing as it will free up members from desk duties:

Nobody should be under the illusion that a single garda sitting at a desk in a small garda station for three hours in the morning, no matter how committed or competent, is the best approach to tackling crime.

After the proposed station consolidation next year, there will be 564 garda stations in the State.

Speaking after the announcement at Garda Headquarters the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said the “extremely difficult financial environment” means he had to make difficult decisions and hard strategic choices to meet public expectations.

It was also announced that €5 million would be given to update the garda fleet of cars for next year.

Read: Finance Minister announces changes to pensions >

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