19. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department has examined the possibility of utilising the site identified for the provision of a new courthouse in Navan announced in Project Ireland 2040 for a new Garda divisional headquarters for County Meath to ensure the maximum return for the public purse and the delivery of both projects. [42435/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, including responsibility for the formulation of proposals in relation to the opening and closing of Garda stations, taking into account crime trends and policing priorities. Further, the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works, which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
More generally, the Deputy will be aware of the significant efforts being made by Government to enhance the working environment for members of An Garda Síochána. In particular, unprecedented investment has been committed under the Capital Plan 2016-2021 to upgrade Garda premises, the Garda fleet and Garda ICT infrastructure.
In relation to the Garda estate, I would refer to the Deputy to the Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021. This ambitious programme, based on agreed Garda priorities, is backed by over €60 million Exchequer funding, as well as a major Public Private Partnership project. This is in addition to over €100 million the Government provided for construction of the new Regional and Divisional Headquarters now operational in Galway, Wexford and Kevin Street, Dublin.
The Programme is benefiting over 30 locations nationwide and will provide new stations and modernise older stations at key locations, ensuring a safe, modern working environment for members and staff of An Garda Síochána as well as fit-for-purpose facilities for visitors, victims and suspects.
I understand that provision is made under the Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme for works at the existing Garda Divisional Headquarters at Navan. These works to Navan Garda Station include demolition of the existing cell block, construction of a new cell block and overhead office accommodation. I am advised that An Garda Síochána is actively engaged with the OPW to progress this project.
I am informed that the Courts Service has not yet identified a particular site, in relation to delivery of the new court intended for Navan in the context of Project Ireland 2040.
However I can inform the Deputy that the OPW and Garda authorities inform me that every effort is made to ensure good value for money in the building and refurbishment works undertaken to address the deficiencies in the Garda estate. I am informed that the OPW and AGS remain in contact regarding any future needs in Navan, which would have to be considered in the context of available resources and overall Garda accommodation priorities nationwide.