Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry says the provision of a new Garda Station in Sligo must be included in the government’s much heralded National Development Plan. Sligo was identified as one of three locations where new Garda Stations would be built by the Garda Station Building and Refurbishment Programme back in 2015. More than two years later, and progress on a new station has been minimal.
Deputy Mac Sharry explained, “The situation at Sligo Garda Station is completely unacceptable. It’s a divisional headquarters with around 140 Gardaí and an Assistant Commissioner, yet there is not even drinking water available on the premises. Working conditions are unsafe but despite concerns being raised on numerous occasions, officers are still expected to carry out their duties there.
“Gardaí became so frustrated with the situation that members of the GRA refused to enter the building on the 20th November last year. These are people who put their lives on the line for the citizens of this country every day. The very least they deserve is a basic standard of working conditions.
“The Department of Justice and Minster have been aware for some time of the unsafe and unworkable conditions at the station. An independent survey of the building highlighted fire safety issues and well as “rodent invasions”, an antiquated heating system, “third-world” toilet facilities and cells which had no washing facilities and inadequate ventilation. In fact the cells cannot be used and people who have been detained by officers have to be driven 15 miles away to Ballymote Garda Station.
“The government has spent a lot of time teeing up its National Development Plan, which is due to be launched later today. A new building for Sligo Garda Station must be included in this plan. Any attempt to push it down the line will not be tolerated and will further expose the government’s lip service and lack of appetite for rebuilding rural Ireland”.