Is your town getting a swanky new garda station?

30 locations across the country will benefit from garda building improvements in the next six years.

Updated 19.55 

A NATIONWIDE REFURBISHMENT programme for garda buildings was announced today with five new stations due to be built and major works planned in other areas.

Alongside this there will be a major spending spree on vehicles, with €5.3 million to be spent on 260 new garda vehicles between now and the end of the year.

The programme was announced by Ministers Frances Fitzgerald and Simon Harris in Athlone this morning.

In total, 30 locations across the country will benefit from the new stations and refurbishments with over €60 million in investment between 2016 and 2021.

Today Minister Fitzgerald said the investment will ensure a “safe, modern working environment for Gardaí as well as fit-for-purpose facilities for visitors, victims and suspects”.

The plan

New stations will be built in:

  • Macroom, Co Cork
  • Glanmire, Co Cork
  • Clonmel, Co Tipperary
  • Sligo Town
  • Bailieborough, Co Cavan.

The map below also shows the areas where major remedial works are planned in stations:

garda station

Click here to interact with the map

Between 2012 and 2013, almost 140 garda stations across the country were closed, mostly in rural areas.

At this year’s Garda Representative Conference in May, representatives from some of the areas that are getting new stations had spoken of the poor conditions.

West Cork representative Jason Collins referenced “hanging wires, cramped locker rooms, packed hallways and no rest areas” for gardaí in Macroom. Another member said gardaí were, in some areas, being forced to work in “third world conditions”.

High-speed pursuit 

New vehicles are also set to be purchased to assist gardaí in the pursuit of mobile gangs.

Included in the new fleet will be marked and unmarked patrol cars; surveillance cars; high-powered vehicles; motorcycles for high-visibility policing and vehicles for public order policing.

The 260 new vehicles will be added to the 370 that have already come into use so far this year.

The issue of mobile gangs travelling into the country to commit crimes has grown in visibility in recent years, with seven men from Dublin sentenced to lengthy jail terms following the violent burglary of the Tipperary home of Mark and Emma Corcoran. 

Catching up

Today the association welcomed the news that “members who have worked for many years in overcrowded, dilapidated and unsuitable buildings are now being considered as the economy recovers”.

However GRA President Dermot O’Brien said a workforce “should not need to be grateful” for having the basic tools to do their job.

Many of the garda stations on the list have been waiting for decades to be made viable for modern. One station on the list is a three storey building with a wooden staircase and no fire escape. These buildings should have been prioritised in the past 20 years. We have some considerable catching up to do – this should be regarded as merely a starting position.
“We also need to reopen the garda stations that were operating and viable, but were closed unnecessarily. These closures can be directly linked to the rise in rural crime.”

In seven stations, exhibit management stores will be upgraded and cells in 15 stations will be refurbished. Stradone in county Cavan is also getting a special victim’s interview suite.

The minister said the timescale for completion of the new stations is dependant on the market’s response, but they usually take in the region of three to four years to complete.

- First published 12.12pm

Read: Hanging wires, cramped locker rooms, no custody areas – gardaí say they work in ‘third world conditions’>

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