146. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which refurbishment plans are in hand in respect of existing Garda stations in County Kildare or replacement in lieu thereof; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4665/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, there has been unprecedented investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement and provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.
The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion. Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021; and investment of €46 million in the Garda Fleet over the same period.
Considerable capital investment is also being made in the Garda estate.
The Deputy will appreciate that 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 (OPW), which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation.
The Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 is an ambitious 5-year programme based on agreed Garda priorities, which continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country, underpinned by over €60 million Exchequer funding as well as a major Public Private Partnership (PPP). There has been some good progress on the programme in 2018, as well as in other major projects in relation to the Garda estate, including in particular completion and entry into operational use of 3 new Divisional and Regional Headquarters at Wexford, Galway and Kevin Street Dublin, which collectively required funding of over €100 million. The clear goal of this investment is to address deficiencies in the Garda estate and provide fit-for-purpose facilities for Garda members and staff as well as the public interacting with them.
I am informed by the OPW and the Garda authorities that the programme includes the provision of a Divisional Property and Exhibit Management Store (PEMS) at Naas Garda Station. I understand that the designs prepared in that regard by the OPW are currently under consideration by Garda management.
I am further informed that An Garda Síochána is engaging with the OPW in relation to potential upgrade works at a number of Garda stations in the Kildare Division, including Kildare town, Naas, Newbridge and Kilcock. Details of any approved works will be decided by the Garda authorities having regard to the overall accommodation needs of the organisation and the availability of resources.