COMMUNITY groups are being invited to apply to take over the raft of garda stations closed by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Mr Shatter closed around 140 garda stations in the past year and half in a hugely controversial move that caused uproar in many communities.
The buildings, most of which are now empty, have passed into the ownership of the Office of Public Works, and Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes, who is in charge of the OPW, is inviting applications for them to be used by locals.
Mr Hayes says he has received around 20 expressions of interest already.
However, he said the Government's priority is to firstly find alternative State use for the buildings or sell them on the open market.