Renovation works on eight Laois Garda stations are to be completed by the end of 2021.
This news, along with the approval of planning permission for the the €24 million new Garda Divisional Headquarters, was confirmed by Chief Superintendent John Scanlan at yesterday’s Joint Policing Committee.
He explained how some administrative staff will be moved to stations around the county following the improvements – thus benefitting the economies of those towns and villages.
He said: “Clonaslee Garda station will be fully renovated while Durrow, Ballylinan, Mountmellick and Portarlington will also see works this year.
“Arles will basically be fully gutted and works on Borris-In-Ossory are already underway with significant office space created there.
“Mountrath has seen new offices created and our financial staff from Portlaoise will be moving out there – thus benefiting the local economy in the town.
“A wheelchair ramp has been created in Stradbally and the second floor of the building there will be turned into a conference room.
“That will enable us to plan and police large scale events such as Electric Picnic and the Ploughing Championships from the location.”
Fine Gael Cllr Conor Bergin, who enquired about the status of improvement works in Laois, was delighted with the response.
He said: “I greatly welcome the news from the Chief Superintendent John Scanlon at the Joint Policing Committee meeting that a significant programme of investment is underway on a number of rural Garda stations in County Laois.
“This is in tandem with the €24 million new Garda Divisional Headquarters which is being delivered for Portlaoise.
“Renovation works are being carried out on Garda stations in Borris-In-Ossory, Mountrath, Durrow, Arles, Mountmellick, Stradbally, Portarlington and Clonaslee.
“This is very positive news for residents in these rural towns and villages that their local Garda station is being upgraded.
“Most of these works will be completed before the end of 2021.
“Over the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all become aware of the importance of our local towns and villages and the need to keep important services locally such as our Garda stations.”