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'Second worst' garda station gets big revamp

A DUBLIN garda station once rated the country's second most dilapidated is to be refurbished and extended.

The station, in Dundrum, South Co Dublin, will get a makeover, with the adjacent former courthouse being fitted out for use by gardai.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has proposed to completely renovate the court building, which is on Upper Kilmacud Road.

The OPW said it intends to install a new mezzanine floor in the main courtroom and also lower the floor level.

The original door connecting the garda station and the court building is to be reopened.

Other works include demolishing a single-storey structure on the north eastern boundary of the site. A spokeswoman for the OPW told the Herald: "The courthouse is being refurbished to provide essential additional accommodation as part of the redevelopment of the Garda Station for An Garda Siochana."

The courthouse building was originally built around 1856 and is a protected structure.

An extensive programme of upgrades is taking place across the country as the OPW seeks to modernise garda stations.







Priority

But the Dundrum station has long been a priority for the Garda Representative Association (GRA), which lobbies on behalf of rank-and-file officers.

"In our list of bad stations, Dundrum was number two in 1993," GRA deputy general secretary John Healy told the Herald.

"That was in a list of over 100 stations. It was earmarked for upgrading long before anybody thought of the Dundrum shopping centre and the amount of people that has brought to the area," Mr Healy added.

The refurbishment is "badly needed" as the station is not capable of handling the workload, he said.

Mr Healy said it was never a case of the OPW "dragging its feet".

Instead, the difficulty in acquiring suitable sites in the area at a reasonable cost has been the main stumbling block.

It is "very welcome" the upgrade is going ahead, he added.

Other stations in the region like Cabinteely and Kill O The Grange also need renovation, Mr Healy said.

comurphy@herald.ie


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