Four years on from its closure former Co Longford garda barracks lies idle

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Ardagh Garda Station. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

The former Ardagh Garda Station which remains unoccupied four years since its closure was announced at government level

There are mounting fears a Co Longford garda station controversially closed and put up for sale by the former Fine Gael-Labour coalition four years ago is falling into disrepair.

Ardagh Garda Station was one of 21 policing outposts earmarked for sale in 2014 on behalf of the taxpayer.

The station, with a €125,000 guide price attached, had been withdrawn from public auction in March 2014 after failing to attract any bids.

Its Newtowncashel equivalent was likewise withdrawn from sale before finally selling for €50,000 in 2014.

In previously unpublished documents, Dublin based firm Ganly Waters were advised by the OPW immediately following the auction to dispose of the Ardagh barracks by private treaty.

That change of approach drew a total of eight offers over the course of a five month period with a bid on September 2 eventually being accepted by the OPW.

By January 2016, the proposed sale hit a snag. Internal emails seen by the Leader between the OPW and Ganly Waters, brought to light the difficulties both sides were seemingly having in rubber-stamping the deal.

On January 1 2016, a senior Ganly Waters representative contacted the OPW to reveal that the proposed purchaser of the former station was now “looking for an extension” while funds came through from a separate property sale.

By May, a further exchange between property management officials from the OPW coincided in a decision to put the aforementioned barracks back up for sale.

“Following a lengthy process, the sale fell through and the CSSO (Chief State Solicitor’s Office) now require instructions as to how the Commissioner’s wish to proceed,” wrote a high ranking property management agent.

The State official went on to recommend the forfeiture of an initial booking deposit and for Ganly Waters to make contact with previously interested parties who had submitted bids in the past.

In a briefing document dated May 11 2016, the same OPW official commented on how the property had been the subject of interest from a local community group, a string of ministerial representations, parliamentary questions and a Freedom of Information request.

The OPW had not responsed to a request in respect of the matter by the Leader at the time of going to print.