OPW preparing to dispose of 33 former Garda stations

OPW preparing to dispose of 33 former Garda stations

The former Garda Station building on MacCurtain St, Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is preparing to dispose of 33 former Garda stations and repurpose others for state or community use.

It confirmed that over 50 former Garda stations and residences will either be disposed of at auction or transferred to local authorities or local communities for use, in response to parliamentary questions this week.

Of almost 80 surplus or vacant state properties listed by the OPW, 49 were Garda stations shut since 2001 or as part of a 2012/2013 policing review and three were Garda residences, one of which was last used in the early 1990s.

Munster stations listed for auction this year include Broadford, Doonbeg, and Lahinch in Clare, Castletown Conyers, Galbally, Kilfinane, and Shanagolden in Limerick and Ballyduff station in Waterford.

Former stations in Adrigole, Ballygurteen, Goleen, Knocknagree in Cork, and Brosna in Kerry, are listed for disposal next year.

A vacant station in Inagh in Clare will be taken over by the local authority, and stations in Kilgarvan and Moyvane in Kerry are being considered for community use, while it’s not clear what plans are in place for Ballyfeard station in Cork.

The list of vacant Garda properties includes one station in Castlecomer in Kilkenny, last used in 2001, which is being handed over to Kilkenny County Council.

The OPW is also considering the disposal of a former station on O’Connell St in Dublin last used in 2018. Over the past year, the OPW has banked over €1.43m by divesting 10 former stations.

The former station at MacCurtain St in Cork City achieved the highest price at €620,000 at public auction, while a former Garda station in Castleisland in Kerry was sold for just €18,000 by private treaty in 2020.

Other vacant state properties include two former customs properties in Cavan and Louth, which are being examined for future state use, although Revenue has ruled out any potential role for the buildings.

The former customs buildings at Swanlinbar in Cavan and at Carrickarnon in Louth were handed over to the OPW in 1992 and 2000/ 2001 respectively, Revenue confirmed.

Meanwhile, a Revenue spokesperson also ruled out the possibility of custom checks along the border: “The Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland ensures there is no hard border on the island. 

"This means goods can move throughout the island without the need for customs declarations or other customs formalities”.

The OPW was not available for comment on the cost of maintaining the vacant properties at the time of going to press.

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