The Office of Public Works (OPW), a government agency, are planning to build the new Garda Operations Center on Military Road in Kilmainham. It will be the new home of specialised Garda units like the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the Garda Cyber Crime Bureau and the Emergency Response Unit. All of these units are currently in Harcourt Street Garda station.
The government are renting Harcourt Street Garda station from a private property owner for more than €6M a year. This is bad for the government, the Gardaí and the taxpayer. These specialised Garda units deserve a permanent fit-for-purpose home. That is why the OPW is planning to build on this government owned site at Military Road in Kilmainham.
The planned building has space for 810 staff over 6 floors. The building also comes with a large two storey underground car park with spaces for 220 vehicles. The car parking will allow for the parking of official Garda vehicles. Because this is a Garda station Garda station the plans are not freely available online like they are for normal planning applications. You can only view the plans under supervision at the OPW offices on St. Stephen's Green. (Honestly this was a weird experience. We were watched by OPW staff as we inspected the plans).
The problem with this development is that they are building on top of the River Camac Greenway route. It is completely unnecessary to build over the greenway. The proposed building only covers one third of site. The proposal could easily be changed to leave space for the proposed greenway.
Many of us who live on Military Road are supportive of the Garda station development in principle. Many of us want to see this derelict site be redeveloped. However, we are angry that the greenway will never be built if this Garda station is approved without changes. The current plans must be changed.
We need urgent support to protect the greenway. There is less than a week before the planning submissions deadline.
For those of you are more technically inclined check out more of the details about the proposed development.
The red area is the development site. The green line is the rough route for the River Camac Greenway. The site outline is drawn from memory as we were banned from taking any photos of the plans by the OPW.