289. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount of rent that is being paid to a hotel (details supplied) by An Garda Síochána since January 2017; the reason parts of the hotel have been rented by An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21516/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources available to An Garda Síochána, including proposals for the opening and closing of Garda stations.
Further, the Office of Public Works has responsibility for the provision and maintenance of Garda accommodation. As such, 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). As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
Significant investment is being made in the Garda estate. As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Síochána Building and Refurbishment Programme 2016 – 2021 is an ambitious 5 year building Programme reflecting the agreed priorities of An Garda Síochána. I am informed by Garda authorities that the programme includes the provision of a Property and Exhibit Store (PEMS) at Tallaght Garda Station and that the development of this property storage facility is ongoing in conjunction with the OPW.
I am further informed by the Garda authorities that one floor of the premises referred to by the Deputy has been rented by the OPW on behalf of An Garda Síochána to provide additional office space for the Tallaght District.
The OPW has advised An Garda Síochána that the rent paid in 2017 and 2018 amounted to €122,720.84 in each of those years. The rent paid to date in 2019 is €30,680.21.