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Question

62. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if extra funding is being put into Garda resources in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda division in 2018 and 2019. [42196/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that there has been very significant investment in Garda resources across the State in recent years. €1.65 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2018 and I am pleased to confirm also that €1.76 billion has been allocated to the Garda Vote for 2019. This is an increase of over 6% over the initial allocation for 2018.
In terms of capital investment, €342 million is being invested in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021 to enable An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies and to deliver on reform. €46 million is being made available for investment in the Garda Fleet over the same period, in addition to the investment of almost €30 million in the fleet from 2013 to 2015. And further €60 million exchequer funding underpins the Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme, which is a 5-year programme based on agreed Garda priorities benefiting over 30 locations around the country. This is in addition to the investment of approximately €100 million in development of 3 major new Divisional and Regional Headquarters recently completed and entered into operational use at Galway, Wexford and Kevin Street, Dublin.
This significant current and capital investment in An Garda Síochána is in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country, to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.
It is a matter for the Commissioner to efficiently manage these resources provided for An Garda Síochána and to determine the allocation of budgets to all Divisions, including Cavan/Monaghan Division, based upon operational requirements. In that regard, I am informed by the Garda authorities that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review so as to ensure their optimum use.
As concerns Cavan/Monaghan Division, I am informed by the Garda authorities that in the context of the Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021, a new Garda station will be constructed in Bailieborough, County Cavan. I understand that the planning application was lodged in August 2018 and the OPW is currently examining the submissions received in this regard. It is not possible to give a definitive date for completion of the construction of the new station. I am informed that in advance of that new development, essential works at the existing station in Bailieborough were completed in 2016, involving enhancements to the public office and safety improvements throughout the building.
In addition, the Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a pilot scheme to reopen 6 Garda stations to determine possible positive impacts that such openings will have on criminal activity, with special emphasis on burglaries, theft and public order. Bawnboy, County Cavan, is included in that pilot and the OPW and An Garda Síochána are continuing to engage in relation to the works required in that regard.
Finally I am advised by the Garda authorities that the strength of the Garda fleet in the Cavan/Monaghan Division as at 11 October 2018 is 56 vehicles. I understand that provision has been made to purchase an additional 25 vehicles for the Northern Region in 2018, of which 6 have been allocated to the Cavan/Monaghan Division as at 11 October 2018. The allocation of these vehicles within the Division will be determined by Assistant Commissioner for the Northern Region in accordance with operational policing priorities following delivery.