Arrested development: garda station gets new lease of life
Seven former garda stations and one former garda residence have been sold for just over €900,000 at auction.
More than 100 people gathered in Kilkenny's Newpark Hotel for yesterday's auction on behalf of the Office of Public Works and, ultimately, the State coffers, which saw the buildings achieving more than double their advised minimum values (AMVs).
One of the old stations, at Johnstown in Co Kilkenny, went to self-described local "farmer developer" and "happy bachelor" John Dillon who spent €115,000 to secure the two-storey station, €40,000 more than its AMV.
Mr Dillon told the Irish Independent he was interested in the village-centre property "from the word go" and had been developing period houses for the past 40 years. "I won't be living there," he said.
Asked what attracted him to the old garda station, he replied immediately: "The sites."
He wants to develop three new houses on the attached land, as well as redeveloping the handsome existing structure, which he believes won't need much work. "Just dry-lining. Internal work. It's a good, solid structure," he said.