A new guard station for Clonmel faces a long delay.
The exact length of that delay is unknown, as Justice Minister Helen McEntee was unable to set a timetable when asked to address the issue during a visit to Clonmel last Thursday .
She was met at Clonmel Station by Chief Superintendent Derek Smart and Superintendent Willie Leahy.
In recent years, as frustration over the lack of progress on the new station mounts, the current station has been visited by three Taoisigh and three other holders of the post of Minister of Justice. A new guard station for Clonmel was mooted decades ago and is finally in the planning stage.
The new Clonmel station is part of a public-private partnership agreement that locks in three projects which are to run in tandem.
New guard stations in Clonmel, Macroom and Sligo were involved, but problems arose when Sligo withdrew and was replaced by a court building project in Dublin.
This court project is well behind the guard stations in Clonmel and Macroom which are now on hold until the court building project catches up.
Minister McEntee said funds were available for the new station in Clonmel and she was committed to supplying the new station in the town.
“The intention is for it to commence and be completed within the next two years. I fully appreciate the need for the building,” Minister McEntee said.
“I want to see the new Clonmel station start up as soon as possible and I will do everything I can to make that happen,” said Minister McEntee.
Senator Garret Aherarn said a situation where the Clonmel station was blocked by another project could not continue.
“While I share the frustrations of many in the community at the slow progress of the new Clonmel Warden Station, the government is still fully committed to this project. Justice Minister Helen McEntee assured me that funding is not the issue. That being said, we cannot have a situation where this important child care station is blocked by other projects. I have asked Minister McEntee to look at the options available to expedite this process. Current phase 1 works are underway at Kickham Barracks as well as the new sports center which are so positive for the town. Hopefully later in the year we will receive funding for phase 2 which incorporates the ‘University moving to the site but this development will not feel complete for many until the new Garda station is built and I am determined and confident that it will be built’ Senator Garret Ah earn
“Clonmel station is inadequate and has been for decades. The working conditions are appalling. We have been told that Clonmel and Macroom cannot continue until the Dublin courthouse has caught up,’ said Tom Finnan of the Garda Representative Association, who was part of a delegation that met the Minister of Justice a month ago on the issue.
Deputy Mattie McGrath said the building in Clonmel was not suitable to operate as a guard station.
“We are still in a group of three. Now, for some strange, bizarre, and unknown reason, we have been associated with a court building project.
“I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but I do know that the people building guard stations under the relevant contracts have a specific skill set.
“Court buildings are different and putting two or three guard stations in a set with court buildings is nonsense. It’s a stalling tactic or a workhorse, as far as I’m concerned.
“These buildings have totally different functionalities. Their mood and appearance are different. Everything is different.
“I would like to see the three guard stations allowed to move forward. We have the site, which we haven’t had for years. We have planning permission. The site is the former army barracks .
“We need the green light. We can no longer bind it with delays.
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