21. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress by his Department in acquiring the new site identified in recent months for Bailieborough Garda station; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53256/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017)
(Deputy Patrick O’Donovan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 33 together.
The Office of Public Works and the Chief State Solicitor’s Office continue to progress the acquisition of the preferred site for this project as a high priority and expect the process to reach a conclusion shortly. The Minister of State, Deputy Moran, is happy to confirm that the contracts for sale have been executed by both parties and final completion of the acquisition process will take a number of weeks. Until the process is fully completed, he is not in a position to identify the particular site or advise on the timeframes for further stages of the project. He has requested the Office of Public Works to inform the Deputy once the acquisition process is complete and give her details of the property at that time.
The Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland do not at this time have any further property purchases planned for Cavan or Monaghan.
Deputy Niamh Smyth: I thank the Minister of State for his reply. An announcement was made regarding this project more than two years ago, but no progress has been made in the meantime. Gardaí in Bailieborough are working in terrible conditions, in portakabins and dilapidated buildings. It is unfortunate that the Minister of State cannot confirm the location of the site but I am pleased that the acquisition is complete. Will he undertake to ensure this project is progressed as quickly as possible? We need to see bricks and mortar being put down, not more announcements from the Government.
Deputy Patrick O’Donovan: When the Office of Public Works placed advertisements in both local and national media seeking submissions from property owners, 17 responses were received. As with all major public contracts, the construction of the new Garda station will be tendered openly and all builders and contractors, including locally based firms, will have the opportunity to tender for the works. I appreciate the Deputy’s frustration but she will understand that we must adhere to the procedures that apply within the Office of Public Works, the Garda housing unit, An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice and Equality. I will refer her concerns to the Minister of State, Deputy Moran, who has responsibility for this area. I am sure he will correspond directly with the Deputy.