255. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to outline the status of the review of reopening Garda stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8749/18]
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. As Minister, I have no direct role in the matter.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a pilot scheme to reopen 6 Garda stations, both urban and rural, to determine possible positive impacts that such openings will have on criminal activity, with special emphasis on burglaries, theft and public order.
The Government noted the Garda Commissioner's final report, which was published on 19 December 2017 and is available on my Departments website at www.justice.ie. The report contains a recommendation that the six Garda stations to be included in the pilot comprise Rush, Co. Dublin, Ballinspittle, Co. Cork, Bawnboy, Co. Cavan, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, Donard, Co. Wicklow, and Stepaside, Co. Dublin.
I understand that the Commissioner has written to the Office of Public Works to progress the matter. Once the specification has been agreed, the works will go to tender and will commence when the procurement process has been finalised.