CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Topical Issues Debate
19 October 2017
Newcastlewest Garda Station, Co Limerick
Deputy Tom Neville
I want to thank the Deputy for raising this important matter.
As the Deputy will be aware, the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close co-operation with the Office of Public Works. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
The Programme for a Partnership Government recognises that An Garda Síochána must 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. This Programme includes the major works in respect of Newcastlewest Garda station.
I am advised that the Office of Public Works has completed a feasibility study on the existing Garda station site, with regard to the brief of requirements for a District Headquarters station. Office of Public Works Architectural Services are currently reviewing that study from a health and safety, building efficiency and compliance perspective prior to the preparation of tender documents for the procurement of external Civil and Structural, and Mechanical and Electrical consultants. I understand that it is currently envisaged that the tenders for both of these services will issue in Q4 this year.
I am further advised that, at this early stage of the project, and until the full design team is in place, it is difficult to estimate the precise timeline for the completion of the works. However, it is hoped that the necessary planning and procurement processes will take place by end of 2018. Following these, it is envisaged that the construction will take approximately 18 months.
With regard to the existing accommodation at Newcastlewest, pending the refurbishment, I understand that minor remedial works continue to be progressed between An Garda Síochána in conjunction with the Office of Public Works as the need arises.
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.