Glanmire gardaí celebrate opening of new station by raising money for worthy causes

Gardaí had to work in potentially dangerous conditions in the station in Glanmire village for many years, in a building so old it once housed the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary).

Glanmire gardaí celebrate opening of new station by raising money for worthy causes

After years of enduring Dickensian conditions, gardaí in a Cork suburb celebrated their first day in their new state-of-the-art station by using the occasion to raise money for four worthy causes.

Gardaí had to work in potentially dangerous conditions in the station in Glanmire village for many years, in a building so old it once housed the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary).

According to sergeant-in-charge, Seamus O'Sullivan, gardaí were asking for a new station as far back as 1983. He described the original station in Glanmire village as "a hazard" and admitted to being "appalled" by the conditions when he was posted there four years ago.

Sgt O'Sullivan said roots of a tree which had sprouted on the roof were growing down into the third and second floors of the building and that the one shower they had was a potential deathtrap.

In 2011, then Garda Representative Association (GRA) president, John Parker, described the building as “a deathtrap” and senior GRA officials echoed his words on numerous occasions since.

They highlighted a litany of problems gardaí serving there have had to endure: huge chunks of plaster falling off the walls; a wooden staircase beyond repair and no fire escape available from the top floors.

The GRA also criticised the fact there was no disabled access, and no secure parking available for the patrol cars or members’ private cars. They were forced to park patrol cars in a business park across the road.

In the interim, a number of attempts were made by senior gardaí to secure alternative accommodation.

The old garda station in Glanmire.
The old garda station in Glanmire.

A couple of years ago it looked as though a new site had eventually been found. However, the deal ended up being the subject of legal proceedings.

Following talks in 2017 between senior gardaí, the Department of Justice and the OPW, it was finally agreed to purchase a building in an industrial estate in Sallybrook, half a mile north of the centre of Glanmire.

Looking at the new station, which is three times the size of the original one, Sgt O'Sullivan described the difference in conditions as being like "chalk and cheese".

Superintendent Mick McGuire said he is delighted with the facilities: "It's great and a long time awaited. It will be good for the public and good for (garda) morale."

The station has ample parking, wheelchair access, and offices to accommodate everything the 17 gardaí stationed there will need. And women have the upper hand in the local force as there are nine stationed there.

Nearly 200 local people turned up to yesterday's event, including some retired gardaí who said they are envious of the facilities compared to what they had to put up with.

To mark the fundraiser, food was donated to the gardaí by Liam Ryan of Ryan's SuperValu and Michael Magner, owner of the Vienna Woods Hotel.

Money raised will go to Glanmire Men's Shed, Glanmire Active Retirement Group, Glanmire Senior Citizens and Glanmire First Responders.

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