Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Garda Station for Portmarnock (County Dublin).


asked the Minister for Justice whether he will agree to the provision of a Garda station to serve Portmarnock, County Dublin, in view of the large population of the town.

I would refer the Deputy to the reply which I gave to his Question on 26 February 1980, in which I explained the issues involved in considering the question whether the erection of new stations at places such as Portmarnock was the best way of providing effective policing in the areas. As indicated in that reply, essentially the same issues arise in a number of areas, and certain pilot schemes may have to be introduced for test purposes before taking firm decisions in the matter.

The current position is that a Manpower Deployment Study Team have carried out a detailed examination of how the most effective police service can be provided for all developing areas in Dublin city and county and the results of this examination are being considered at present. Until this process has been completed a firm decision cannot be taken regarding new policing arrangements for areas such as Portmarnock.

Is the Minister aware that Portmarnock is an area with a population of about 8,000, that it is larger than most rural towns which have full Garda stations with a number of men attached to them?

The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot accept the implication in his question that there are no police operating in the Portmarnock area. That is not so.

I did not imply anything of that kind. On a point of order, it is wrong of the Minister to impute any such implication to me.

Has the Deputy a question, please.

If the Deputy wants information by way of an answer to a supplementary question, I will give it to him. There are gardaí operating in the Portmarnock area. The question is whether there is a police station there. At present a survey is being conducted there by a manpower deployment study team and this team comprise members of the Garda Research and Planning Unit and members of the Operations Research Unit of the Department of the Public Service. They are examining the area with a view to ascertaining how places such as Portmarnock can best be served in terms of policing. Whatever decisions have to be taken on the basis of their report will be taken by me for the purpose of improving the situation.

Are these gardaí, who the Minister assures the House and the people of Portmarnock are patrolling the area, the same gardaí who are patrolling Malahide, Kinsealy, Yellow Walls and so on and who are investigating the 28,000 incidents reported last year——

I do not think that this question is worthy of the Deputy. He knows well that the answer is no.

The Minister should not endeavour to answer the question before I have finished. In addition, are these gardaí the ones who are investigating the 174 crimes reported in the area last year? Are these the same 12 gardaí who are thick on the ground in Portmarnock?

The answer is no.

In that case, would the Minister please explain where they come from? To which station are they attached?

What the Deputy is saying is nonsense and he knows that very well.

The Minister's reply is nonsense.

I shall allow a final supplementary on this question.

Which Garda station is responsible for the policing of Portmarnock?

Portmarnock is in the Coolock Garda district. The headquarters are there and the Garda authorities based in that district have the responsibility for the policing of the Portmarnock area.

Which Garda station is responsible for the policing of Portmarnock?

It is served from the Malahide station, too, as the Deputy knows also.

Are they looked after by the 2,000 imaginary extra gardaí that the Minister claimed would be available by November last?

Now that Deputy O'Keeffe is awake, I would remind him that I brought in 1,900 additional gardá whereas the Coalition allowed the force to run down.

The Minister promised to increase the numbers from 10,000 to 12,000 but the 10,000 mark has not even been reached yet.

The Deputy may go back to sleep now.