The provision of fire services in local authority areas, including the establishment and maintenance of fire brigades, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of premises, is a statutory function of the individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Act, 1981. My Department supports the fire authorities through setting general policy, providing a central training programme, issuing guidance on operational and other related matters and providing capital funding for priority infrastructural projects.
In February 2016, my Department announced a five-year Fire Services Capital Programme with an allocation of €40 million, based on an annual €8 million allocation, to be used for the purchase of fire appliances and specialist equipment, building or upgrading of prioritised Fire Stations, an upgrade of the Communications and Mobilisation system and improvements to Training Centres.
Monaghan County Council has prioritised a new fire station project in Castleblayney and this is included as part of this programme under the list of priority projects to be progressed for 2019. A revised cost plan for this project is currently under consideration in my Department.
Ballybay is also included under the 2016 – 2020 Capital Programme as a new build station project to be included in annual reviews. Approval-in-principle issued in 2008 for a new fire station at Corrybrennan, Ballybay to a maximum cost of €1,000,000. In April 2009, design and cost plans were received in my Department indicating a total cost of € 1.2 million. The Council was recouped €17,000 for professional fees in 2012 and €100,000 site acquisition costs in 2016.
Correspondence was received by my Department in July 2017 indicating that the Council wishes to proceed with this project. A revised cost plan has been requested from Monaghan County Council and on receipt of this my Department will continue working with the local authority to progress this project.