Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran joined Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan last Thursday morning to announce details of the €8.3m restoration and refurbishment of Athlone Garda Station.
The works will be undertaken in two main phases. Phase one of the work will take place at the former Social Protection building, while phase two of the work will focus the existing Garda Station building. A final element will consist of the linking of both buildings and the removal of temporary installations in the former Social Protection building.
Minister Moran said: “This is a much needed project for the town and will involve the complete restoration and refurbishment of the existing Garda Station and the former Social Protection building next door. Both of these OPW buildings date from the 1930s and 1940s respectively. A new link building between these buildings will provide a new entrance that is accessible to all and incorporates new facilities for the Gardai.”
An Garda Síochána will continue operations from the existing station during phase one and will operate from the refurbished building during phase two of the works. A temporary public office and holding rooms will be provided in the refurbished building during phase two. The construction and fit-out is expected to take 24 months to complete.
The Office of Public Works is, in parallel, progressing the total re-location of the Garda water unit to Garrycastle, where their equipment is currently stored. This project requires the complete fit-out of the Garrycastle property.
Athlone based Senator, Gabrielle McFadden has welcomed the works, which she says underlines the Government’s commitment to properly resource policing in Athlone and the country at large.
“I am delighted every time that I hear of progress in the refurbishment of Athlone Garda station as this was one of the key issues I fought for when I was a T.D. I was successful in getting €9m funding allocated to it by the then Minister Frances Fitzgerald back in October 2015. So, every step that we get closer to a new station for these men and women who serve the people of this region is a source of great personal satisfaction.”