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Senator John Cummins calls for new Garda station on outskirts of Waterford City

Waterford’s Senator John Cummins has called on the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and the Minister for the OPW Patrick O’Donovan to come before the house in the New Year to discuss the next phase of development and investment in garda facilities.

The current garda capital investment plan runs from 2016-2021 and it is understood a new plan will be developed during the course of 2021.

Welcoming the increase in garda numbers by 29% over the last number of years in Waterford and the designation of Waterford as the divisional headquarters, Senator Cummins told Seanad Éireann this week: “The increase in garda numbers are hugely welcome and their presence has certainly been felt across the city and county. The work that they’ve done throughout the pandemic in assisting communities has been exemplary.

“However, the increase in numbers presents its own challenges in terms of space constraints and the facilities available to gardaí and civilian staff are at premium in Ballybricken, so I believe now is the time to focus on the next phase of development and investment for the force”.

In his contribution, Senator Cummins suggested building above the old Labour Exchange building or developing a “new sub station on a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city”.  

Senator John Cummins

He added: “Waterford City as the new divisional headquarters for Waterford, Carlow and Kilkenny brings the strength of the force to over 800, which will be managed from Ballybricken, and I believe this requires additional investment and space for staff. An immediate solution could be the possible construction of a modular unit to the rear of the existing station to house staff directly engaged in administration, but in the medium-term I believe further space will be required to house divisional units and equipment. This could be provided for above the existing Labour Exchange building, which has been utilised by gardaí over the last number of years.

“It is critical that we future proof the facilities available to gardaí, especially given the future growth projections for the city in the national planning framework. I look forward to engaging with garda management on this matter because I know they will share my views that we need to look at the short, medium and long-term plan for improved facilities at the divisional headquarters.”

In responding to Senator Cummins request, the Leader of the Seanad Regina Doherty said “she would arrange a debate on a new Garda capital plan in the new year”.

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