Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (64)

Aindrias Moynihan


64. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress in tendering for new Garda stations in County Cork in 2019; the locations of the stations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26876/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years. An allocation of €1.76 billion has been made to An Garda Síochána for 2019 and very significant capital investment is also being made, 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.

In relation to the Garda estate, the Deputy will be aware that the Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 is based on agreed Garda priorities. It continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country, underpinned by significant Exchequer funding across the Garda and OPW Votes. In addition to that programme, other major works to the Garda estate which are ongoing include the pilot Garda station reopening project, the development of a new facility at Military Road and the major refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street station. The goal of this ongoing 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.

The Deputy will appreciate that the Office of Public Works (OPW) is responsible for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. Accordingly, replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the OPW.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a number of Garda stations in Cork are included in these planned or ongoing works to the Garda estate.

First, the development of a new station in Glanmire, which will be located in Glanmire Industrial Estate, is included in the Building and Refurbishment Programme. The construction of this station is ongoing and the Garda authorities and OPW advise that completion is expected in Q3, 2019.

I am further informed by the Garda authorities that in order to facilitate the Divisional Policing Model in Cork City, the Cork City Divisional Roads Policing Unit is relocating from Anglesea Street to Ballincollig Garda Station, and that works to accommodate the Divisional Roads Policing Unit in Ballincollig Garda Station are scheduled for this year.

A new station in Macroom is also included in the programme, with delivery of that station along with new stations in Clonmel and Sligo to be achieved as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. It is not possible at this point to provide a timeframe for completion of these projects. However I can assure the Deputy that delivery of these new stations through this PPP arrangement is being pursued as a priority.

A station in Cork is also included in the pilot Garda station reopening project. As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a pilot scheme to reopen 6 Garda stations to determine possible positive impacts on criminal activity. The Garda Commissioner's final report, which is available on my Department's website, recommended that Ballinspittle Garda Station be reopened, along with stations in Bawnboy, Co. Cavan, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, Donard, Co. Wicklow, and Rush and Stepaside, Co. Dublin. The OPW and Garda authorities are cooperating closely on this project. In relation to Ballinspittle, I am informed the OPW has undertaken technical surveys to determine the works required to enable the Garda Station at Ballinspittle to reopen and is preparing tender documents to procure the required works. I am informed that it is envisaged works will be completed this year.

Finally and more generally, I am informed that An Garda Síochána in consultation with the OPW seeks to address minor maintenance issues and refurbishment works across all Divisions as they arise, having regard to overall Garda accommodation priorities.