Station closed for renovations

Thu, Dec 8, 2011, 00:00

RURAL GARDA STATIONS:MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter has been criticised over the decision to shut down a Garda station currently undergoing renovation work.

Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on justice, Dara Calleary, said it “beggars belief” that Loughglynn Garda station in Co Roscommon had been included in the list of stations earmarked for closure when it was undergoing “major renovation and redecoration”.

This was being done at considerable expense to the taxpayer, even though the station would soon close, along with 30 others across the State.

“An Garda Síochána will foot the bill for all of these renovations, despite the fact that the facility is now being shut down,” Mr Calleary said. “This is just further evidence of the fact that closing these rural Garda stations makes no financial sense.

“It beggars belief that Minister Shatter could sanction expensive refurbishments of a Garda station that he has no intention of keeping open.

“I am calling on Minister Shatter to explain his logic in closing Loughglynn station and to outline the full costs of the refurbishments so far.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said the decision to close Garda stations was made by the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, and not Mr Shatter.

The Office of Public Works, which owns and is responsible for the upkeep of all Garda stations, confirmed works were being carried out at Loughglynn.

A spokesman said it was being performed on the “fabric” of the building and, as such, was essential. It did not involve any modifications or improvements tailored to any future use of the building as a Garda station.

He said improvements could include essential maintenance such as guttering. While he could not say what the cost of the work was, it was relatively modest and was “nowhere near” €100,000.

He added: “Because it is a State building we are responsible for its upkeep, whether it’s used as a Garda station or for something else.” He said that while the station had been earmarked for closure, the time frame for that closure was not yet decided.