Garda units transfer from cramped base

A MAJOR Garda transfer commenced in Limerick yesterday as up to seven units, including the immigration service, began to move out of the cramped Henry Street divisional headquarters to the adjoining Estuary House.

Among the units to relocate are the traffic corps, community policing, crime prevention unit, public service vehicle section, professional development unit and forensic traffic accident unit.

The CCTV control centre will transfer next month and will have four times more available space in Estuary House. Gardaí have, over the years, voiced strong views about an overcrowded situation at Henry Street, which was opened in 1977. Up to 60 gardaí will now operate out of the new location. Planning on moving into Estuary House has been going on for the past three years and the Office of Public Works have carried out major works on two floors at Estuary House, which was the former Eircom headquarters in the city.

The move gives the gardaí an additional 12,600 sq ft (1,170 sq m) of space, much the same size of Roxboro Road Station.

Chief Superintendent David Sheahan said: “The expansion of space will make the work environment far better. This is particularly for the immigration section who were, up to this, in rather backward facilities with people having to wait in the public office area... The new location at Estuary House will give people more privacy. So all around it will add to the quality of our service.”

Henry Street serves as headquarters for the entire Limerick Garda Division as well as headquarters for Limerick North which stretches as far as Castleconnell and Ardnacrusha.

Meanwhile, Supt Frank O’Brien said a new forensics collision unit will be located at Estuary House. It is one of two such units set up in the southern region to investigate road traffic incidents. Supt O’Brien said: “We now have highly trained personnel who can determine from the evidence they find at the scene of a road traffic accident and give expert opinion to the courts. Some times unfortunately you don’t have witnesses and you have to determine from tyre makings on the road and other evidence the speed. One forensic collision team will be based here in Limerick and the other in Cork.” Supt O’Brien said the communications control room will move next month to Estuary House after major technical work is completed.

The control centre monitors CCTV cameras in Limerick city centre as well as CCTV systems located in Moyross and Southill.

Supt O’Brien said when all the transfers are completed, they will begin work on deploying the additional new space which will be made available at Henry Street headquarters.

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