Updated: 12/07/17 : 04:37:01
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This


Garda functions could be shunted around Sligo

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

SOME FUNCTIONS in Sligo Garda station could yet be moved out to other buildings around town.

This was confirmed by the new Minister for Justice, Charles Flanagan, speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Tuesday.

Local TD Tony McLoughlin had demanded to know from the Minister why there was such a ''long delay'' in delivering the news station to Sligo.

He also said there had been ''few or no developments in real terms'' in the term of the previous Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald.

He also revealed one proposal, which had not happened to date, was to move senior Garda management in Sligo to a site in Finisklin.

The Minister turned the tables and asked his own own party TD to assist in finding a site for the new regional HQ.

Said Minister Flanagan yesterday: ''The issue, as I see it, is the acquisition of a local site in Sligo.''

Added the Minister: ''Perhaps the local Deputy could assist and use his good offices to assist in the provision of a local site for a Garda station. 

''I assure him that the Government will provide the appropriate resources for the construction of the Garda station,'' said the Minister yesterday.

Interim options being explored include ''the relocation of certain functions outside the station,'' Minister Flanagan confirmed yesterday.

Other options being examined included ''reconfiguring the premises to meet the needs of front-line operational personnel and to address space or health and safety concerns. 

New kitchens and toilets had been provided at the current station within the past year, the Minister told the Dail.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has the State onus to find a new Sligo site, it has been previously confirmed.

Good News

Deputy McLoughlin has asked the Dail several times in the past week to discuss the proposed new Garda station for Sligo as a 'Topical Matter.'

That formula allows TDs to raise pressing issues from around the country.....but first they must get on the shortlist of the Ceann Comhairle.

The Sligo TD even caught Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on the hop last week and raised the issue, without success, directly with the new leader in the Dáil.

Yesterday afternoon Deputy McLoughlin made the Dail shortlist: ''Does the Minister have good news for Sligo?'' asked the Ceann Comhairle, Sean O Fearghail.

Long Delay

Deputy McLoughlin set out the questions he wanted answered by his own Minister for Justice before he spoke.

Said the Sligo TD: ''Will the Minister explain to me what is happening with regard to the development of the new Garda station in Sligo? 

''Will he explain to me why there has been such a long delay in Sligo as opposed to the other two areas? 

''Will he advise me as to when we can expect a site to be identified and construction to start on the new Garda station in Sligo?

Needs Replacement

MInister Flanagan told the Dail: ''I know the Garda station in Sligo very well. 

''I know it needs refurbishment. I would go further and say that it needs replacement,'' the Minister told the Dail.

The new Minister confirmed Garda centres proposed for upgrade in the €60 million capital programme to 2021 through public private partnerships included Sligo, Macroom and Clonmel.

Said Minister Flanagan: ''I assure Deputy McLoughlin that it is a priority of this Government to modernise older stations at key locations, including Sligo.

''I ask the Deputy to keep in contact with me on this matter,'' the Minister ended -- perhaps an encouraging note.

Link to full Dail debate on Sligo (pages 35 and 36):