Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (34)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

34. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the plans of the OPW for new builds for Garda Stations in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47801/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

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.

Major investment is being made in 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. 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.  These resources are being provided in support of the Government's commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.

The Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 is based on agreed Garda priorities. It continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country and is underpinned by significant Exchequer funding across the Garda and OPW Votes.  In addition, other major ongoing works to the Garda estate include the development of a new facility at Military Road and the major refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street station as well as the Pilot Garda station reopening project.

As the Deputy will be aware, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement is included in the Building and Refurbishment Programme is 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. Macroom is the only new build currently planned for County Cork.

PPP projects are progressed under the auspices of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA).  An Garda Síochána, the OPW, the NDFA and my own Department are working closely together to progress this project.

It is not possible to say at this stage when the stations 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.