227. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which the upgrading of Garda stations nationally is scheduled for 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12379/19]
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. 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. This investment is in support of the Government’s commitment to ensure a strong and visible police presence throughout the country.
Significant capital investment is also being made in the Garda estate. The Deputy will appreciate that the programme of replacement and refurbishment of Garda accommodation is progressed by the Garda authorities working in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
The Garda Station 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. The clear goal of this investment is to address deficiencies in the Garda estate and to provide fit-for-purpose facilities for Garda members and staff as well as the public interacting with them. This work is being progressed in a planned and structured way.
For example, I am informed by the Garda authorities that works continuing under this programme in 2019 includes the new station and immigration centre at Transaer House, Dublin Airport as well as major refurbishment of Athlone Garda station. The programme includes construction of a new Garda station in Glanmire, Co. Cork and development of a new station in Bailiborough, Co. Cavan. Other works planned for 2019 include planned remedial works in Henry Street station, Co. Limerick and Ballincollig, Co. Cork. I am further informed that work is ongoing to progress plans for the development of Property and Evidence Management Stores at stations in Naas, Co. Kildare, Drogheda, Co. Louth and Tallaght, DMR South.
I understand that as part of the programme, the Custody Management Facilities in Carlow Garda station will be refurbished this year. Works at a further 17 stations nationwide will also be carried out under the Cell Refurbishment Programme, under which the cells at over 80 Garda Stations have been completed to date.
I understand that a contract has recently been awarded in relation to the provision of upgraded facilities for the Garda Water Unit in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. The refurbishment of Ashtown Gate on the Navan Road, Dublin will be completed in Q1 2019 and a modular building extension in Garda Headquarters is also nearing completion.
In addition to the Building and Refurbishment Programme, a number of other major projects are advancing in relation to the Garda estate and will continue in 2019.
For example I understand that enabling works to refurbish Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station commenced in 2018. I am informed that the OPW is at an advanced stage in the design of the Garda facility to be located at Military Road, Dublin 8. The Pilot Garda station Reopening Project continues to progress and I understand that the OPW expects work at all 6 stations included in that project to be complete this year.
These are some of the many works to the Garda estate now ongoing, on the basis of agreed Garda priorities. I am informed that An Garda Síochána and OPW continue to work on the remaining projects under the Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme, all of which are at various stages of design, development or procurement. I further understand that they seek to deal with other maintenance or minor works requirements as they arise, subject to availability of resources and overall Garda accommodation priorities.