Ministers and Garda Commissioner welcome refurbishment of former Wicklow Garda Station.

25 January 16

Simon Harris, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) today (25 January 2016) officially welcomed the completion of the refurbishment of former Wicklow Garda Station.

Speaking at the station today, the Minister said, "I am delighted to be here in Wicklow today, to officially open this wonderfully restored Georgian Townhouse. Listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage for Co. Wicklow, this is the original Garda Station of Wicklow Town and has been restored by my Office, the Office of Public Works. The space will provide much needed administrative offices for the Wicklow Garda District along with facilities including conference and training rooms”.

Minister Harris commented that “the high level of works including the restoration of the original plasterwork and fittings together with the inclusion of a new lift and high tech systems demonstrate the high standards my Office always uses on these sensitive buildings”.

Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. welcoming the completion of the major refurbishment of Wicklow Garda Station said “I congratulate all involved. This project is tangible evidence of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that we have a 21st Century network of Garda stations that ensures safe, modern working environment for Gardaí as well as fit-for-purpose facilities for visitors, victims and suspects and which is critical to delivering effective policing service and to tackling crime.”

Speaking ahead of the event, Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan said "An Garda Síochána welcomes this refurbishment and extension of Wicklow District Headquarters. This work provides improved facilities for Garda members and staff, and for the public. There will be increased office space, and new meeting and training facilities. The new meeting rooms will also be of benefit to the public as they will provide better facilities for meetings between local Garda management and community groups and individuals”.

Minister Fitzgerald, noting that over the lifetime of the Garda Building & Refurbishment Programme 2016 – 2021 more than 30 key locations nationwide would benefit from direct Exchequer funding of more than €60 million with further investment being provided by way of a public private partnership added “this sustained investment when taken together with the over €67 million provided in Budget 2016 for the recruitment of 600 new Gardaí, the further €46 million of investment in vehicles and €205 million in Information and Communications Technology which will allow An Garda Síochána to deploy the latest cutting edge technologies in the fight against crime represent a step-change in investment in policing and willensure that the Gardaí can be provide an effective, visible and mobilepolicing service in every community throughout the country.”

Minister Harris concluded by saying that the additional facilities would “well serve the community in Wicklow as it is a busy District Headquarters for An Garda Síochána. I would like to extend my good wishes to the Gardaí stationed here and thank my own team in the OPW, the contractors and consultants for delivering this project for the town”.

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For further information or if you wish to interview Minister Harris please contact Colette Davis, OPW Press Officer at 087 947 5552 or colette.davis@opw.ie

Note to Editors:

The building was originally constructed c1820 as a Georgian town house for a member of the professional class, probably a doctor. In 1870 it was acquired by the R.I.C. The Board of Works renovated and extended the building in 1899 and no further work was carried out until An Garda Síochána vacated it in 1982.

A new Garda station was constructed in the garden of the old station in 1983.

The present project has completely renovated the Georgian town house as administrative offices for the Wicklow Garda District and has restored the ground floor reception rooms to something of their original Georgian grandeur. These will be used for conference and training purposes.The rest of the building has retained much of the original plasterwork and fittings. All the original windows and doors have been overhauled as have staircases and floors. Modern M&E systems and voice and data have been sensitively installed and a new lift provides access to all floors.

Disabled and other toilets and locker rooms have been provided.

The building is located in an Architectural Conservation Area in the town and is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage for County Wicklow.