The welcome refurbishment and enhancement of Athlone Garda Station continues apace with the aspiration that ongoing works at the building based on the town’s west side will be completed within the two year timeframe initially noted for the redevelopment project.
As works advance on a daily basis, Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin paid a notable visit to the site on Friday last to view progress on the project which commenced on June 1 and is set to cost in excess approximately €8 million when completed.
Accompanied by Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD, the Acting Commissioner received a tour of the work site with OPW lead architect for the project, Charlie Moore and colleague, Commissioner John McMahon highlighting the work completed to date and what the future entailed for the development.
Noting that a number of minor archaeological artefacts had been located on site, the lead architect added that this would not impinge on the time outlined to complete the project.
Speaking enthusiastically with regard to the development, Minister Moran commented that the refurbishment of the Athlone Garda Station had been long overdue.
“I see this welcome development as been of benefit to the town and in particular, the west side, where I would regard the refurbished and enhanced Garda Station as the anchor tenant for this area. It was vitally important that the Garda Station remained in the centre of Athlone and was not relocated to a green field site on the town’s outskirts. It has been a number of years since this redevelopment project was first mooted and it is great to have the support of Government in this regard,” the Minister commented.
Stating that it was of critical importance that the local Gardai had a state of the art building in which to work, the Minister added that the general public will also benefit from such a development.
“Recently refurbished Garda Station projects have taken place in Sligo, Louth and Wexford and now, finally, after many years a modern, state of the art Garda Station, allowing for more facilities, will be of immense benefit to those that will work in the building following its refurbishment,” the Deputy stated.
Echoing those sentiments, the Acting Garda Commissioner also noted that it was important to retain the Garda Station close to the centre of town.
“I have witnessed at first hand how modern and spacious facilities can have a positive effect on the work carried out by the Gardai on a daily basis and in this regard, it is vital that they can do their jobs in support of the general public in a modern facility. This development, when complete, will I am certain befit the investment,” the Acting Garda Commissioner noted.