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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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'Nobody would try this if there was a garda station': Three businesses hit in morning raids in Stepaside

A man in his 20s has been arrested over the robberies.

Stepaside garda station
Stepaside garda station
Image: Rollingnews.ie

A SOUTH DUBLIN business-owner whose shop was robbed in an early-morning raid believes he would not have been targeted if his village had a garda station.

Michael Fleming’s butcher shop in Stepaside was one of three businesses targeted this morning, when burglars struck in the area at around 6.20am.

The front window of his shop was smashed and a sum of money was stolen from the till, while a glass door at a second premises in the village was also smashed, although nothing was stolen there.

At around 6:21am, a fast food outlet on the Enniskerry Road area of Sandyford also had its glass front door smashed and a sum of cash taken from the premises.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this afternoon, Fleming claimed the robberies would not have happened if Stepaside garda station, one of 139 stations closed between 2012 and 2013, had remained open.

“What happened this morning just highlights the importance of having a garda station in the area,” he said.

Disgusted

“If the garda station was there, this wouldn’t have happened. The station is only 100 yards away from my shop.

“I don’t think anybody would be brave enough or stupid enough to do it if it was open.”

Fleming added that locals were disgusted and upset by what happened, particularly as Stepaside was a close community.

Gardaí have confirmed that a man in his 20s has been arrested in relation to the burglaries, and is currently being detained in Dundrum garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

The robberies also drew condemnation from Minister for Transport Shane Ross, who has made the reopening of the station one of his conditions for supporting the Fine Gael government in 2016.

Last year, it was announced that the station was set to reopen on a pilot basis.

A spokeswoman for the Office of Public Works told TheJournal.ie said the office was currently progressing maintenance works to secure the building which are expected to be completed by mid next year.

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