Written answers

Thursday, 20 June 2024

Department of Justice and Equality

National Development Plan

Photo of Alan FarrellAlan Farrell (Dublin Fingal, Fine Gael)
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6. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality to provide an update on progress being made under the NDP Justice Projects 2024-2026; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26529/24]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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From my first day as Minister for Justice, I have prioritised building stronger, safer communities. In support of this I was very pleased earlier this year to secure additional funding under the National Development Plan which now contains investment of over €300 million a year in capital projects for the Justice sector. This capital investment ranges across a number of areas such as ICT, Transport investment and capital building and refurbishment works in An Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service, the Courts Service and my own Department.

I am very proud of what has already been delivered under the current NDP, in particular:

  • A new state of the art laboratory for Forensic Science Ireland (FSI). This is the largest ever capital project directly funded by the Exchequer in the Justice sector, at a cost of over €100 million which reflects the crucial role that FSI plays in the criminal justice system;
  • Walter Scott House in Dublin, the new Garda Security and Crime Operations Centre is a modern fit for purpose building, housing key national crime units, delivered in 2022 at a cost of €87 million;
  • The redevelopment of Limerick prison included a new world class women’s prison and a new male wing. This project was completed in 2023 at a cost of €70 million.
Earlier this year I secured an additional €93 million for Justice capital projects over the next three years bringing the total budget to €930 million including over €500 million for Garda Capital Programmes. This funding will deliver:
  • Significant additional prison capacity with four capital projects planned at Castlerea, Cloverhill, the Midlands and Mountjoy prisons. This will ensure Ireland’s prison facilities can accommodate people committed to prison by our courts;
  • New Garda stations in Macroom, Clonmel and Portlaoise;
  • An unprecedented €100 million per annum investment in Garda ICT projects which enables and equips our Gardaí to carry out their frontline duties far more efficiently. This capital investment will also support the implementation of Body Worn Cameras and the delivery of a new airplane and helicopter.
The funding will also continue to support modernisation of the Garda fleet, providing a range of new vehicles which will support detection and enforcement of serious crime and management of public order.

I am particularly pleased that the planned Dublin Family Courts PPP project will provide a modern, purpose-built court facility (of approximately 18,000 square metres) where family law cases can be held in a dignified, secure and non-threatening environment with a range of support services at hand. The new complex will provide 19 Family law courtrooms, interview rooms and rooms for consultations/mediations, and variety of public waiting areas including child and family friendly waiting area and will be constructed with the specific needs of family law court users in mind. On completion it will replace existing family law facilities in central Dublin at Dolphin House, Chancery Street and Phoenix House. The project received approval in principle from my Department in July of 2023. Planning permission under part 9 of the Planning and Development Regulations was granted by the Commissioners of Public works in April 2024 and the procurement process will begin later this year.


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