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OPW plan fire sale on closed stations

Sunday, 2nd March, 2014 12:02pm

OPW plan fire sale on closed stations

The Office of Public Works is to begin selling off empty, rural former garda stations, with those to be first sold at market expected to fetch in the region of €500,000.

The sale will start with stations located in parts of Leinster, Connacht, and Munster, with guide prices ranging from €35,000 to €125,000, with other stations elsewhere around the country, including in county Cavan to be sold off from the middle to the end of April.

As reported by The Anglo-Celt last year, the OPW currently has five vacant properties listed for Cavan. These are all former garda stations in Bawnboy, Finea, Stradone, Tullyvin and Redhills.

Of these in Cavan, both Bawnboy and Stradone station have seen refurbishment take place in recent years, the latter of which was reopened for a time as part of a €30 million plus spending programme.

There are at present five vacant State-owned buildings in neighbouring Monaghan, including former garda stations in Corrinshigagh, Newbliss and Shantonagh, three buildings in Longford, seven in Leitrim and four in Meath.

The sale follows the outcome of an assessment by the OPW which include other potential State uses for the properties.

If and when properties are considered surplus to requirements, the Commissioners, the OPW told the Celt at the time, will “consider options”, including disposal on the open market and where applicable, viable local proposals.

There were 39 closures in 2012, with a further 100 stations decommissioned last year as part of severe budget cutbacks.

Examples of where viable local proposals were considered include where the OPW handed over the former Ballymote garda station in Sligo for community purposes in November.

The building is being leased to the Ballymote Tidy Towns and Tourism organisation and will be opened as an art gallery and tourist office.

The OPW has, it is reported, decommissioned a total of 155 garda stations in its ownership with just eight stations retained for alternative government use.

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