Shut Garda stations may be used by communities

The 139 Garda stations recently closed by the Government may end up being sold or used by communities.

Junior minister Brian Hayes last night announced that a full audit of the stations was being carried out with a view to putting some on the market by the summer.

Community, sporting, and voluntary groups have expressed interest in using the buildings for meeting areas, scout meetings, retirement facilities, and training courses.

Mr Hayes, who is responsible for the Office of Public Works, said that if the station buildings could not be used by other state bodies they would be sold or given over to community use.

“The last thing we want to see is former Garda stations in a derelict condition, that’s why I am announcing a new policy today.”

All but four of 139 stations have closed since late 2011.

Communities in rural and urban areas recently voiced concern that crime rates could soar with the decision to shut down stations.

At least 20 stations will be readied to be sold by the summer, Mr Hayes said yesterday.

“We are in the process of completing a full audit of all the stations and when completed, decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis.”

So far, 20 community, sporting and volunteering groups have expressing interest in using the buildings.


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