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Question

16. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will report on the efforts of the Office of Public Works regarding the proposed new Garda station at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10617/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation of €1.76 billion for 2019.  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.
Very significant capital investment is also being made, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021; and investment of €46 million in the Garda Fleet over the same period.
In terms of investment in the Garda estate, the Office of Public Works has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation, and works in relation to Garda accommodation are progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW).
The Garda Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016-2021 is an ambitious 5-year programme based on agreed Garda priorities, which continues to benefit over 30 locations around the country, underpinned by significant Exchequer funding across the Garda and OPW votes.  In addition to that programme, other major works to the Garda estate which are ongoing include the pilot Garda station reopening project, the development of a new facility at Military Road and the major refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street station.
I would emphasise that the clear goal of this investment is to address deficiencies in the Garda estate and provide fit-for-purpose facilities for Garda members and staff, as well as the public interacting with them.  And there has been some good progress in relation to the Garda estate in recent times, including in particular the completion and entry into operational use in 2018 of 3 new Divisional and Regional Headquarters in Wexford, Galway and Kevin Street (Dublin), which collectively required funding of over €100 million. 
In relation to Macroom, I can inform the Deputy that the Public Private Partnership  arrangement included in the Building and Refurbishment Programme is intended to deliver new stations in Macroom, Clonmel and Sligo as well as a new custody suite at the Garda Station located on Anglesea Street Cork.
Site acquisition for this PPP bundle has been complex and has taken longer than originally envisaged.  I have been informed by the OPW and the Garda authorities that the OPW acquired sites for the development of the new stations in Macroom and Sligo in 2015 and 2018 respectively.  I am pleased to say that I am informed by the OPW that all difficulties in relation to completion of the acquisition of the site in Clonmel were recently resolved and that that transfer is now also agreed.  It was necessary to secure all three sites before the PPP could proceed to the next stage.
The development of PPP projects is progressed under the auspices of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and my Department and the Garda authorities are working to progress this matter, with the input and assistance of the NDFA.  My Department is also engaging with the OPW in relation to the assistance that it may be able to provide to the process, including direct engagement on the matter between the Secretary General of my Department and the Chair of the OPW. 
The establishment of PPP projects can be complex and it is vital to get the projects right at the planning and design stage. I can assure the Deputy that delivery of the new Garda stations in Sligo, Clonmel and Macroom through this PPP arrangement is being pursued as a priority.