Commencement matter – 7 February 2017

The need for the Minister for Justice and Equality to clarify the current position with the building of a new Garda Station in Glanmire Co Cork, as the site has been available for 6 years and there has been no action taken to date.

Senator Colm Burke 

On behalf of the Tánaiste who, unfortunately, cannot be here today, I would like to begin by thanking the Senator for raising this matter.

He 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, which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. This includes identifying and progressing any necessary new builds and any remedial or refurbishment works required at individual stations and the Tánaiste has no role in these matters.

However, the Tánaiste has been informed by the Garda authorities that the proposed site for the new Garda station in Glanmire has been the subject of legal proceedings which were settled towards the end of 2016 and I understand that An Garda Síochana and the Office of Public Works are working closely to progress the development as soon as possible.

The Senator will be aware that the proposed Glanmire station forms part of the Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 which makes provision for major refurbishment of stations and facilities, including facilities for meeting victims of crime, essential remedial works to existing stations, development of large scale property and exhibit management stores, the upgrade of cells and improved custody management facilities.  

Under the Programme, in addition to the proposed Glanmire station, new stations will be provided in Bailieborough, Sligo, Macroom and Clonmel.  

This is in addition to the new Divisional Headquarters in Dublin and Wexford, as well as a new Regional Headquarters in Galway, which are at present underway at a cost of over €100 million and which are expected to be completed in 2017.

Of course, these measures cannot be viewed in isolation from the Government’s overarching commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime. In furtherance of this, the Senator will be aware that, in July 2016, the Government approved the Tánaiste’s proposal for an overall Garda workforce of 21,000 personnel by 2021 comprising 15,000 Garda members, 2,000 Reserve members and 4,000 civilians. 

In addition, the Government’s Capital Plan 2016-2021 provides some €205 million for investment in Garda ICT infrastructure and some €46 million for investment in the Garda Fleet. 

Taken together, I believe that the above measures reinforce the Government’s commitment to enabling significant reform in An Garda Síochána and to providing a high profile and visible policing service for our communities.