Thursday, 13 April 2017
11. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to purchase property for Garda stations; the stages in negotiation for each one; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18715/17]
On 21 October 2015, the Government launched a Capital Investment Plan for An Garda Síochána for 2016-21. The Capital Investment Plan includes plans which involve the construction of new Garda stations in eight locations, major refurbishment of existing stations and facilities, essential remedial works to certain Garda properties, upgrading and modernising prisoner detention areas to meet current and emerging health, safety and human rights compliance requirements and developing property and evidence material stores.
The following projects involve the acquisition and-or purchase of new sites or buildings for Garda stations.
Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016 - 2021
Description of Project
|Planned New Garda Stations||-||-|
|Glanmire, Cork||Alternative accommodation for Garda Station||Site & building acquired in January 2017|
|Bailieborough, Co Cavan||New Garda Station||Site identified and legal transfer nearing completion|
|Sligo, Co. Sligo||New Garda Station||Assessment of submissions received following national/local advertisement in March 2017|
|Macroom, Co. Cork||New Garda Station||Identified Site acquired.|
|Clonmel, Co. Tipperary||New Garda Station||Site identified and Legal transfer in hand|
|Kevin Street, Dublin||New Divisional HQ facility to serve DMR South Central||Site acquired. Construction underway|
|Galway||New Regional HQ facility for Galway and the Western Region||Site acquired. Construction underway|
|Wexford Town||New Divisional HQ facility to serve the Division of Wexford||Site transfer. Construction underway.|
I thank the Minister of State for his reply. I am specifically addressing the issue of Bailieborough Garda Station because it is almost 18 months since it was first announced. We have heard rumours about where it will be located. Will it be a greenfield site or in the main street of Bailieborough? Can the Minister of State confirm exactly what premises are being considered for the main Garda station? It is the headquarters for the entire east Cavan district covering Ballyjamesduff to Tullyvin. The chosen site will be hugely important because it must be central to the district.
We often see Portakabins being put into school grounds because the existing buildings do not have the capacity to house students and teachers. The same scenario exists in Bailieborough Garda station with gardaí, who are trying to do a good job, housed in Portakabins. Can the Minister of State confirm where the new Garda station will be located?
The Deputy is right to raise the importance of this particular station. I can confirm that plans are well advanced. As she knows, the current station is in poor condition. Some minimal upgrading work was done to allow the station to tide over until the new one is built. The OPW is currently in the process of purchasing a property with a view to building a new Garda station and that site has been identified. The Deputy might be aware of the property and I can confirm that with her, but unfortunately not here in the Dáil.
The purchase is being expedited and it is hoped that it will conclude shortly. Once the property is transferred the OPW will process the planning application under Part 9. However, the draft plans for the site have already been agreed.
I welcome the positive news that we are nearing the end of what has been a protracted procedure. We are cognisant of Brexit as we are in a Border county. Unfortunately rural crime has increased in the area so gardaí do need the requisite facilities to do their job properly. We do not have those facilities at the moment. I have been involved with gardaí through the community alert scheme and various other projects. Members of An Garda Síochána are doing their utmost to provide a good service.
Businesses require a good policing service but gardaí are currently operating from cramped, outdated and poor facilities. I would like to see a new Garda district headquarters in Bailieborough in the very near future.
The Deputy is correct to say that 21st century policing requires new resources. However, I am pleased to hear from the OPW that plans are well advanced in this regard. Once the legal transfer has been completed, which will happen shortly, we can move straight into the planning process and get the station built. Once that legal transfer is complete the Deputy will be notified immediately of the site's location.