Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Department of Finance
37. To ask the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 325 to 329, inclusive, of 16 June 2020, the Garda stations included in the Garda building and refurbishment programme 2016–2021; if new Garda building upgrade projects at stations not originally included in the plan as set out by the Minister for Justice and Equality in 2015 have now been included; the details and cost of these new developments; the estimated total State investment in the plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12820/20]
38. To ask the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 325 to 329, inclusive, of 16 June 2020, his plans for the further upgrading of the current Garda station in Sligo; the funding to date spent on upgrading the station since 2018; the estimated total investment in the station when all upgrade works are completed; the cost-benefit analysis conducted on the decision to divert planned State funding away from the plan to build a new Garda station in Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12826/20]
39. To ask the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 325 to 329, inclusive, of 16 June 2020, his plans for the site of the proposed new Garda station in Caltragh, County Sligo in view of the extensive investment into the purchase of the site already undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12827/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 37 to 39, inclusive, together.
I must advise the Deputy that matters pertaining to Garda policy are in the first instance for my colleague, the Minister for Justice. As such, my Department has no basis on which to provide a detailed response on this matter. However, the Office of Public Works (OPW), under the remit of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have provided information in relation to Sligo Garda Station, which I have included below.
The expenditure by OPW Property Maintenance on Sligo Garda Station from 2017 is as follows:
|OPW Funded||Garda funded||Total|
The project consists of internal upgrade works to provide a new custody suite including three new cells built to current anti-ligature standards, prisoner processing, interview, solicitor and doctor's rooms. The three existing cells were not suitable for upgrading and the proposed new cells are located in a different section of the building requiring adjacent prisoner processing facilities. Following a review by GEM the contract was amended to provide a further 2 cells – work is continuing on this project and works are currently due to be completed in December 2020. The balance to pay on this project is approximately €1.3 million.
Property Maintenance are also currently preparing a tender package to provide a portacabin for Scene of Crimes unit at Sligo, this is a Garda funded project with an estimated cost of €200,000.
Sligo Garda Station was announced as part of the Garda Building & Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021. It was previously confirmed as a Public Private Partnership project, however in a PQ response on 16 June, Minister Charlie Flanagan advised that:
Sligo station is undergoing a very extensive refit and I understand that this is felt to be a more appropriate and much faster way of delivering a modern Garda Station for Sligo, in accordance with its role in the new Garda Operating Model and having regard to the fact that the current location of the station is considered optimum from the operational perspective.
It is however important to note that, while it was decided that delivery of a new station in Sligo under the PPP was no longer justified, the Commissioner decided that the upgrading of the existing station to a high standard will continue.
I can confirm that this decision was not made in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Commissioner's decision was communicated to my Department by letter received on 2 January 2020.