Business

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Garda station sell-off nets OPW €2.8m as it reviews 47 more sites

Former garda station at Inistioge, Co Kilkenny
Former garda station at Inistioge, Co Kilkenny

Simon Rowe

The Office of Public Works has netted almost €3m from the sale of former garda stations closed as part of a nationwide station consolidation programme.

A total of 41 former stations have been sold or auctioned in the past three years earning €2,859,000 for the state landlord.

None of the properties that were put on the market since 2013 remain unsold. About two-thirds were sold at auction with the remainder sold by private treaty.

The OPW has now launched a review into selling another property portfolio comprising a further 47 former garda stations earmarked for possible closure. Based on rising property prices around the country, the OPW is expected to net more than €4m from the sale of this second portfolio if it decides to put these properties on the market.

Commenting on the possible sale of this portfolio of 47 sites, a spokesman for the OPW said a review is currently assessing the future property needs of the Garda Siochana.

"As part of the Programme for a Partnership Government, the Policing Authority has been asked to carry out a review of closed garda stations with a view to reopening up some of these," said an OPW spokesman.

"The outcome of this review, which has yet to be completed, may impact on any decision that the Commissioners reach with regard to the future use of the former garda stations. Once the review has been completed, the Commissioners of Public Works will decide on whether the properties will be placed on the market for sale."

The Garda District and Station Consolidation Programme, which was announced in late 2012, saw the consolidation of 100 garda stations as well as the amalgamation of 28 Garda districts into 14 enlarged garda districts.

Former garda stations were sold in Cavan (2), Clare (2) Cork (3), Donegal (3), Galway (1), Kerry (3), Kilkenny (3), Laois (2), Leitrim (3), Limerick (2), Longford (2), Mayo (1), Meath (2), Offaly (1), Roscommon (1), Sligo (2), Tipperary (3), Westmeath (2) and Wexford (3).

Despite selling off two former garda stations in Sligo, the Office of Public Works is now looking for a site or building for a new station in the county.

Last year, the Garda Representative Association threatened a walk-out from the current garda station in Sligo because of its poor condition.

There are currently about 550 garda stations nationwide.

The Office of Public Works has one of the largest and most diverse property portfolios, managing over 2,000 buildings spread over 1,700 properties throughout the country.

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