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 allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 is €1.76 billion and 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. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
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. It is underpinned by over €60 million in Exchequer funding and also includes a major Public Private Partnership (PPP). 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 Garda authorities that the programme, which is based on agreed Garda priorities, includes upgrade works for Donegal Town Garda Station in the Donegal Division, but that it does not include plans for refurbishment of Rathmullen Garda Station.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that the allocation of resources is kept under constant review, in the context of crime trends, policing priorities and operational need, to ensure optimum use of resources and provision of the best possible Garda service to the public.