Former County Mayor Liam Carroll, a candidate in the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District has called on the CEOs of Galway City and County to consider locate the headquarters of the Galway Fire Service at the old Galway Airport site in Carnmore.
As mayor of the county in 2013-2014, the then Cllr Carroll purposed the purchase of the Galway Airport site jointly by the Galway local authorities to ensure that such a valuable piece of infrastructure on the edge of the city be retained in community ownership.
The then mayor’s proposal was accepted and the site comprising 115 acres, an administration building and two large hangers in Carnmore was purchased jointly by the city and county councils at a cost of €1.1 million.
“When the current County Fire Service headquarters at Fr Griffin Road was officially opened in 1956 by the then Minister for Local Government Mr P O’Donnell, he described it as “the most modern fire station erected in the country for over forty years.
“Sixty three years on, the 36 full-time fire fighters and the 12 retained fire fighters are operating out of a cramped facility which has gone well past its sell by date, according to Mr Carroll.
“Speaking after the official opening of the new €2.4 million Tuam Fire Station recently the Acting Chief Fire Officer for the county Paul Duffy said that “the time had now come to focus on the identification of a suitable site for a new modern fire service headquarters to serve the needs of the city and county into the future.
Mr Carroll said that he was aware that senior fire service management personnel had looked at a number of sites for the location of a new Fire Service Headquarters including a site(s ) in the general Oranmore area”.
“In urging the city and county CEOs along with fire service management to consider the old Galway Airport site as a most suitable location he stated that “the facility could be developed at a very minimal cost given that the current Fr Griffin Road site would generate substantial funds if sold”.
He also stated that “the vast bulk of the Carnmore site would still be available for other economic uses” and the site could also be used by Civil Defence who are urgently seeking a permanent base to house vehicles, equipment, and also a training facility