CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

11 July 2017

 

Update on the development of the garda regional headquarters in Sligo

Tony McLoughlin

 

I want to thank the Deputy for raising this important matter.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Office of Public Works has primary responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation and works closely with the Garda authorities in this regard. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.

The Programme for a Partnership Government recognises that An Garda Síochána must also have the modern technology and other resources, including fit for purpose buildings, necessary to do their job and notes that the Capital Plan 2016-2021 secured resources in this regard.

The Deputy will be aware of the significant efforts being made by Government to enhance the working environment generally for members of An Garda Síochána and of the major investment that has been committed under the Capital Plan 2016-2021 to upgrade Garda premises, the Garda fleet and Garda ICT infrastructure.

This is evidenced by the Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021, which is an ambitious 5 year Programme that will benefit over thirty locations around the country and includes over €60million of Exchequer funding as part of the Capital Plan as well as a major Public Private Partnership project. Under the Programme, new Garda stations will be provided in Glanmire, Co. Cork and at Bailieborough, Co. Cavan through direct Exchequer funding with a further three new stations to be provided in Sligo, Macroom and Clonmel by means of Public Private Partnership. 

I am advised by the Garda authorities that in the context of the Public Private Partnership, the Office of Public Works is progressing the acquisition of sites, including for the Sligo development. The Deputy will be aware that, earlier this year, the Office of Public Works published advertisements in Sligo with a view to acquiring a suitable site.

Pending the development of the new station in Sligo, I understand that local Garda management and the Office of Public Works have been working closely to develop proposals to improve the accommodation situation in the existing station. This includes exploring options for the relocation of certain functions outside the station and reconfiguring the premises to meet the needs of front line operational personnel and to address space or health and safety concerns.

I also understand that other short-term measures have been taken to address and improve the accommodation situation at the station; for example, works to fully refurbish the toilets above the public office were completed in late July 2016 and a new industrial standard kitchen facility has been installed.

I want to reassure the House that the Government is fully committed to proceeding with its major investment programme that aims to provide new stations and to modernise older stations at key locations around the country, ensuring a safe, modern working environment for Gardaí as well as fit-for-purpose facilities for visitors, victims and suspects.