Irish Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has announced the allocation of capital funding for further PPP projects in respect of An Garda Síochána and the Courts Service.
The Minister sets-out the strategic objectives for the planned investment in the Justice sector as outlined in the Government Capital Plan 2016-21.
Minister Fitzgerald stated:
"This allocation demonstrates this Government's commitment to investing in 21stCentury policing, by ensuring An Garda Síochána have the vehicles and technology to be effective, mobile and responsive to prevent and tackle crime in both urban and rural communities."
"This investment will also finally ensure appropriate state-of-the-art facilities where family law cases can be heard through the construction of a new state-of-the-art Family & Children's Court complex at Hammond Lane in Dublin."
In total, €875 million (US$977 million) in capital funding has been allocated to the Justice sector with further approval and funding for public-private partnership projects:
- A total allocation of €46 million is being provided for new Garda vehicles. Funding will be provide for both regular Garda patrol vehicles as well as specialist, high-power vehicles for targeted operations.
- A major additional investment of €205 million is being made in new Garda Síochána technology and systems. This will bring the overall Garda ICT funding to €330 million over the lifetime of the capital plan.
- In addition to the ongoing construction of three new Divisional Headquarters in Kevin Street, Dublin, Galway city and Wexford Town, €18 million is being provided for the refurbishment of Garda stations throughout the country.
- Funding is to be provided for the construction of a much needed new Forensic Science Laboratory at a site at Backweston, outside Lucan.
- €10 million is being provided for Courts refurbishments. This is in addition to the capital provided for the construction of seven courthouses which are included in the existing Courts PPP building project. The locations are Mullingar, Limerick, Cork, Letterkenny, Drogheda, Wexford and Waterford.
- New Garda projects and facilities.
- Development of state-of-the-art Family Law and Children's Courts building, together with additional Court rooms for the Supreme Court and other Courts offices, to be developed on the Hammond Lane site, in Dublin, adjacent to the Four Courts.
Additionally, Minister Fitzgerald has confirmed that funding is being provided to the Irish Prison Service to complete the elimination of slopping out in the prisons estate, with funding provided for essential building works, including the completion of Limerick Prison and refurbishment work at E Block in Portlaoise.
The Minister concluded:
"These investments will deliver significant improvement to the way public services are delivered in the Justice sector and all the projects will be subject to robust governance and oversight."