I have raised this issue on a number of occasions. I have been campaigning on this issue for a number of years, as have the local Labour Party and our local area representative Shane Folan. This impacts some on my colleague, Deputy Duncan Smith, as well, because the issue borders his constituency too.
I am referencing the Dublin 13 and Dublin 17 area, where the Minister of State will be aware that there are thousands and thousands of new units being constructed. It is effectively a new town. Within that new town we need to not repeat the errors of the past when we only built dwellings and did not build the community infrastructure. Obviously, other things are needed rather than just a Garda station. We have been to the forefront of advocating for new schools. We had a successful campaign to have a new second-level Educate Together school. However, more is needed for families to grow up and for the place to feel secure.
In that area there has been an identifiable need, which has been recognised by the Department of Justice and by senior Garda management for a new Garda station. The site has been identified at Northern Cross. In June 2019, the assistant Garda Commissioner gave notice that they were moving to progress to construction of a new Garda station at that location. It would serve the existing communities in Dublin 17, in Dublin 13 and the wider communities. If you move to a new area and things are beginning to knit themselves together, you need the sporting clubs, the community associations and you need to know that the agencies of the State are there to serve you, to work with you and to protect you.
It has come to my notice in the more recent past that there has been a number of troubling instances in Fr. Collins Park. They have been of a physical assault nature and of a verbal assault nature. There has been a racial component to them. This has been bubbling under the surface for a number of years, unfortunately. That is not to suggest in any way and that that part of the world is any different to any other part of city. Every part of the city has policing concerns and antisocial behaviour concerns. We have had issues around Clongriffin DART station as well, which has been targeted by antisocial behaviour.
When Shane Folan, other Labour Party members and I began this advocacy with the Clongriffin community association which had identified this need and made presentations, it was welcome that those who were in government at the time and Garda senior management were listening and identified the validity of the case being made. The political response has always been that this is a matter for Garda management. We felt that was a dispiriting response, when the Government at the time could see fit to reopen Garda stations that had been closed. I make reference to Stepaside Garda station.
However, this is a good news story. The community has gotten involved. The community wants to look to the future. It wants to build an area that it can be proud of. It wants to focus on community infrastructure. The Government responded positively. The assistant Garda Commissioner responded positively. We are now in a position hopefully to move forward. What I want now, and I raise this issue as often as I possibly can, is to get an update on where we are on the construction of this Garda station at the site of the corner of Northern Cross on the Malahide Road to serve Dublin 13, Dublin 17 and the wider jurisdiction.