The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion and this is due to increase further to an unprecedented €1.88 billion for 2020. The capital budget for An Garda Síochána has also been significantly increased - a total of €92 million was provided this year, representing a 50% increase on capital investment in 2018. Capital investment will increase further to €116.5 million in 2020.
The Garda Commissioner has responsibility for management of An Garda Síochána and is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of these resources. I understand however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review, to ensure their optimum use.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda District and Station Rationalisation Programme developed and implemented in 2012 and 2013 resulted in the closure of a number of Garda stations nationwide. I am informed by the Garda authorities that one station in the Fingal area was closed under that programme, namely Rush Garda station. I am further informed that the Garda authorities further advise that they are not aware of any other disused Garda stations in the Fingal area.
Finally and as the Deputy may recall, the Programme for Government contained a commitment to reopen six Garda Stations on a pilot basis to determine possible positive impacts that such openings will have on criminal activity, with special emphasis on burglaries, theft and public order.
Rush Garda station is included in the project along with Ballinspittle, Co. Cork, Bawnboy, Co. Cavan, Donard, Co. Wicklow, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow and Stepaside in Co. Dublin.
The Office of Public Works 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. I am informed by the OPW and Garda authorities that the refurbishment of Rush Garda Station will be completed and the station handed over to An Garda Síochána by the end of 2019.