A plan to demolish and replace a rat-infested Garda station in Newcastle West, Co Limerick has been announced by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.
Ms McEntee visited the town on Thursday to announce a planning application by the Office of Public Works for a new District Garda Headquarters to replace the current station which was rat-infested in 2015 and described as “not fit for purpose” by the Garda Representative Association (GRA).
Having campaigned for years for a new building, ardaí eventually left the bungalow station two years ago, and it has been lying idle ever since.
In June 2015, at the behest of the GRA, an engineers' inspection found the station was home to rats, was too small, and that prisoners had to be brought through the front public office due to a lack of custody facilities.
We’re making progress on a new District Garda HQ for Newcastle West, Co Limerick. @podonovan and I met local @gardainfo members in Newcastle West today and marked the submission of the planning application for the new HQ.
Looking forward to seeing the new station being built. pic.twitter.com/ehQCCxCeCz
— Helen McEntee TD (@HMcEntee) September 8, 2022
"It’s not a place for anybody to work, there is no point in saying otherwise. Obviously the gardaí moved out of here two years ago, it was the right decision. They are working in very difficult circumstances, spread across quite a number of different stations at the moment.
"I appreciate there have been delays - it's not ideal, but we are absolutely committed to getting this done and get them back into a purpose built building," Ms McEntee said.
Local Fine Gael TD and Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan, said local gardaí had been consulted prior to the application being lodged.
The application is for a three-storey building measuring 1151 square metres.