414. Deputy Gabrielle McFadden asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to provide funding for a new Garda Síochána station in Athlone in County Westmeath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33987/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation around the country is based on agreed accommodation priorities which are established by An Garda Síochána. This programme is progressed by the Garda Authorities in co-operation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for capital expenditure in this area
In this context, An Garda Síochána and the OPW have developed proposals for the re-development of Athlone Garda Station which incorporates the former Department of Social Protection building adjacent to the Garda Station. The re-development of Athlone Garda Station will be considered in the context of the funding available for Garda capital works, the accommodation priorities in the Westmeath Garda Division and the overall accommodation needs across the Garda estate.
In relation to the matter of funding, I very much welcome the additional €18 million provided under the Capital Plan 2016-2021 for the refurbishment of Garda stations throughout the country. This funding will prove invaluable in allowing us to modernise and refurbish older Garda stations at key locations around the country, ensuring a safe, modern working environment for Gardai as well as fit-for-purpose facilities for visitors, victims and suspects. I also very much welcome the commitment in the Capital Plan to develop a Public Private Partnership project to undertake new station builds and significant redevelopment works in relation to certain Garda stations that are critical to the delivery of effective policing services and tackling crime.