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Three former garda stations licensed to be used by community groups

How the closed garda stations should be used is decided by the OPW, which is engaging with 64 interested groups across the country.

Whitehall Garda Station, just one of the garda stations which is now closed down due to cuts in public finances.
Whitehall Garda Station, just one of the garda stations which is now closed down due to cuts in public finances.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

OVER THE LAST two years the government has closed down 139 garda stations. The properties are now in the hands of the Office of Public Works (OPW).

The OPW confirmed to TheJournal.ie that to date, three of the former garda stations that were closed down have been handed over to be used by local community groups.

The three former garda stations include:

  • Beaufort Garda Station, Kerry
  • Ballinskelligs Garda Station, Kerry
  • Dromahair Garda Station, Leitrim.

Budget cuts and closures

When the garda stations closed, the OPW actively sought expressions of interest from community groups who wished to make use of the former stations. In a statement from the OPW, they state that a number of garda stations are being considered for “alternate use” adding:

The OPW is in ongoing engagement with 64 community, sports and other groups in regards to the former garda stations rendered surplus to requirements in the recent reorganisation.

In July it was announced that forty of the 139 now-empty buildings are to be sold off.

It is believed that if the buildings cannot be sold on the open market, further applications from community groups and organisations will be considered.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has stated that the nationwide Garda station closures in 2013 will result in an extra 61,000 Garda patrol hours.

Read: The OPW is going to take an inventory of everything owned by the State>

Open thread: What should we do with all the empty garda stations?>

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