GRA stresses urgency of honouring promise on new Macroom station

Tue, Nov 20, 2012, 00:00

Gardaí fear that plans for a new station in Macroom, Co Cork, could fall through by the end of the year. The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has called on the Office of Public Works (OPW) to honour a commitment made three years ago to make funding available for a site for a new Garda station in the Cork town.

The GRA says the OPW has pledged adequate funding for the purchase of a site on the Killarney Road to cater for the new station to replace the existing 200-year-old structure.

The four-acre site would accommodate both a new Garda station and a fire station – Cork County Council has secured matching funding from the Department of the Environment for the fire station.

GRA west Cork representative Pat O’Sullivan said the Department of the Environment would withdraw its share of funding at the end of the year if it was not spent, so there was a real urgency to progressing the matter before then to secure the site.

“The OPW indicated in 2009 it was willing to provide adequate funding for the new site but if it doesn’t sign off on it before the end of December then the Department of Environment funding will be withdrawn.”

Mr O’Sullivan said the move was just a first step towards replacing the old station.

A report commissioned by the GRA in 2010 found the station totally unsuitable, with facilities designed to cater for 14 gardaí in the 1980s now being required to cater for over 50 officers and civilians. The report, by consultant engineer Michael Reilly, found the station breached fire safety regulations in that there was no fire escape on the first floor and the main stairs were too narrow in the event of an emergency.