Written Answers - Garda Stations.

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 599 No. 5

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  490.  Mr. J. O’Keeffe  Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   the funding or estimate of the funding which will be required to bring all Garda stations classified as most in need of attention up to the required standard; and the length of time such a project will take. [8948/05]

  491.  Mr. J. O’Keeffe  Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   the criteria utilised to establish which Garda stations are prioritised as being most in need of attention. [8950/05]

  492.  Mr. J. O’Keeffe  Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell   the Garda stations which appear on the list for prioritisation as being most in need of attention arising from his statement on 7 March 2005; the placing of each individual Garda station on the list; and the longest period of time for which a particular Garda station has remained on the priority list. [8953/05]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  I propose to take Questions Nos. 490 to 492, inclusive, together.

I have previously acknowledged that certain Garda accommodation is not up to standard. However, considerable investment is being made, in terms of money, time and effort, to improve the working conditions for all gardaí in stations across the country.

It would be difficult to accurately estimate the funding required to address all Garda accommo[1504]dation requirements. The scale of works necessary can vary greatly from location to location and can involve, in some cases, new sites, major refurbishments or, indeed, the provision of new stations. That said, I am advised by OPW that in the order of €100 million will be expended on the Garda building programme between now and the end of 2007.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are no set criteria used to prioritise stations for attention. Each station is considered by Garda headquarters taking into account the merits of the case made by local Garda management and associated reports supplied by the Office of Public Works. Moreover, as part of the Garda building programme process, the agreement of the main Garda representative associations is also sought and obtained.

It should be noted that there are a large number of projects, large and small, which require to be undertaken to address overall Garda accommodation needs. In addition to regular maintenance works, emergency repairs and so forth, which are addressed as required, works are not always undertaken in order of agreed priority. For instance, the commencement of a project may first be dependent on the successful acquisition of a suitable site for the proposed development and this militates against the compilation of a definitive list. It is also the case that, in the nature of things, priorities are subject to review and change.


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