€60k spent on station due to shut

MORE than €60,000 is being spent on refurbishing a Garda station that is to be closed under Budget 2012.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said €62,545 would be spent on works on Loughglynn Garda Station in Roscommon.

This is despite that fact that the station is one of 31 that are being closed undera review ordered by the minister and conducted by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

In addition to the closure of 31 stations, this review recommended that eight other stations, which are not operational, be permanently closed. As part of the plan, the opening hours of 10 Garda stations in Dublin are also being reduced.

In a response to a parliamentary question asked by Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary, Mr Shatter, said that the Office of Public Works awarded contracts last September for maintenance works to be carried out on the station. The works consisted primarily of asbestos removal and replacement of windows.

Mr Shatter said almost €25,000 had been spent since September on replacing the windows and related building and electrical work. He said almost €38,000 was expected to be spent on the removal of asbestos and further electrical work on the building.

Mr Calleary said yesterday: “It doesn’t make sense. They have effectively spent €60,000 on a station they are closing. One part of the government doesn’t know what the other is doing. They are essentially throwing €60k down the tube.”

Mr Shatter said no decision had been made on the future of the property. He had asked his office to set out potential uses for this and other Garda stations.

Mr Calleary said: “There is no money to be made from closing Garda stations and they are not going to sell any property at this stage. Each of these stations will still need some element of heating. The Loughglynn case crystallises the fallacy of government policy.”

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