The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.76 billion for 2019, as well as capital investment amounting to €92 million this year. An Garda Síochána’s budget for 2020 will increase further to a record €1.882 billion, in addition to €116.5 million in capital investment.
The capital investment being made includes major work to the Garda estate, to provide fit-for-purpose facilities for Garda members and staff as well as the public interacting with them. This is a significant undertaking, as there are over 560 stations nationwide.
Works include the Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 as well as the development of a new facility at Military Road, the major refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street station and the Pilot Garda station reopening project.
The Deputy will appreciate that the Office of Public Works (OPW) has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. As a result, all works to the Garda estate involve close cooperation between the OPW and the Garda authorities.
The Building and Refurbishment Programme is based on agreed Garda priorities. It continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country as well as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement intended to deliver new stations in Clonmel, Sligo and Macroom. The OPW has agreed to provide its expert services in the design of the three stations in question.
PPP projects are progressed under the auspices of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA). My Department, An Garda Síochána, the OPW and the NDFA are working closely in order to progress this project.
It is not possible to say at this stage when the stations included in the PPP will be completed. The establishment of PPP projects can be complex and it is vital to get the projects right at the planning and design stage. Pending delivery of the new stations, I am informed that Garda management and the OPW have been working to improve conditions and facilities at the existing stations in Macroom, Sligo and Clonmel.
Specifically in relation to Clonmel, I understand that office space close to the station has been refurbished to provide additional space for operational use and that minor upgrade works have been carried out in the station. I understand that An Garda Síochána is working with the OPW to provide for additional upgrade works at the station, including fire safety upgrade works and the refurbishment of existing locker rooms.