The new Western Region Garda headquarters in Renmore has been officially opened this week by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan.
Minister Flanagan was joined for the opening ceremony by Garda Commissioner Donall Ó Cualáin, Junior Minister at the OPW Kevin “Boxer” Moran, and representatives from community and civil groups.
An Garda Síochána have said that approximately 250 officers will be based out of the new Galway divisional headquarters.
The 11,000 sq metre, state of the art facility will provide a major upgrade for garda efforts in the region with new custody facilites, a firing range, and a new established regional dog unit.
Other regional garda services that will be based out of the Renmore headquarters include an armed support unit, a crime scene unit, a protective services unit, and other specialists.
The contract to build the new station was awarded to local building contractors JJ Rhatigan and Co. in October 2015. Work commenced soon after and was completed this month.
Minister Charlie Flanagan was joined by the Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó'Cualáin to open the new Western Region Garda Headquarters in Renmore, Galway today, the 20th July 2018. It provides An Garda Síochána with a state of the art police facility. https://t.co/mwAnuOyhaA pic.twitter.com/hJlpNqPRT6
— Garda Info (@gardainfo) July 20, 2018
Speaking at the opening, Minister Flanagan said the new headquarters will allow the gardaí to continue providing policing services to the region while being modernised.
“The opening of the new Regional Headquarters is taking place at a time of major reform and investment which will redefine our national police service as an organisation. ”
“As we approach the centenary of the establishment of An Garda Síochána, the organisation is on the cusp of significant change including in its leadership,” said Minister Flanagan.
The Expert Commission on the Future of Policing is coming into the final stages of its work, and when completed, its report will be used as the basis for reforms within An Garda Síochána for decades to come.
Minister Flanagan also took the time to thank Commissioner Ó Cualáin, who is retiring in September, for his service and welcome the incoming Commissioner.
“Drew Harris will bring his ability and vital policing, security and change management experience to the challenge of transforming An Garda Síochána so that it becomes a model of policing excellence, equipped to deal with the huge range of challenges facing police services worldwide.”
A key focus of the reform programme is the Divisional Policing model being piloted in Galway now. It dedicated more resources and Inspector to community policing and investigating serious crimes.
“Under the new model, administrative functions will be carried out by skilled professional civilians freeing up sworn members to deploy their training, expertise and experience to what they do best – policing our communities,” Minister Flanagan said.
“The lessons learned during the pilot, including here in Galway, will be applied across the country as the model is rolled out.”
The Wester Region HQ is one of three modern garda headquarters that has been completed lately.
The other two are in Wexford, completed in September 2017, and on Kevin street in Dublin, which opened in April.
The regional headquarters were designed by the OPW Architectural Services team led by State Architect Ciaran O’Connor.
Construction of the three stations involved over €100 million in funding from the Exchequer.