A call has been made for Defence Minister Alan Shatter to make an official announcement on the relocation of Clonmel garda station to Kickham Barracks.
A plan to locate a new state of the art garda station, LIT, VEC and County Council offices at the empty Kickham Barracks site was revealed last week by Deputy Tom Hayes who said Minister Shatter had given the all clear for the plan and that capital funding for the development of the site would be in the 2014 budget.
In response, Deputy Mattie McGrath has come out with a “show me the money” plea to Minister Shatter.
Deputy McGrath called on Minister Shatter to make an official announcement on the matter and put it in writing and on Dail record that funds will be provided for the relocation of the garda station to the Kickham Barracks site.
Welcoming the announcement, Deputy McGrath said he had consistently raised a possible relocation of the garda station and the development of Kickham Barracks site with Minister Shatter.
“I am pleased to hear the Minister has approved this long overdue move. History has taught me that it is important to have such announcements put in writing and on the record of the Dáil, so that there is little or no room for movement on the matter, as the Minister may not even be in Government in 2014.” said Deputy McGrath
“I am very pleased if a decision has been made as the current Clonmel Garda Station is not fit for purpose and this is a matter that I have worked hard on over the last year. I would be delighted if the Kickham Barracks site will now be put to good use by a number of vital organisations,” said Deputy McGrath.
Deputy Tom Hayes said that the plan for the development was being prepared by Director of Services with South Tipperary County Council Sinead Carr and would be formally handed over to the minister in a few weeks time.
The Fine Gael TD said Minister Shatter had given his commitment to the four/five year plan to himself and County Manager Billy McEvoy and has assured them that funding for the plan would be in the capital programme in the 2014 budget.
Deputy Hayes said that the funding would relate to the new build garda station but he expected other organisations to move into Kickham Barracks prior to that.
Clonmel man Stephen Walsh, one of ten UCC planning graduates who presented a development plan for Kickham Barracks to the County Council, welcomed the move on Kickham Barracks.
“We would like to see the Army Barracks site embrace voluntary and community organisations and meet their needs during the lifetime of the plan”, said Mr Walsh.