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Galway County Council exploring plans for old Tuam fire station

Galway County Council has given a commitment to come up with an action plan for the old fire station in Tuam which has now been vacant from more than four years.

There have been calls from various public representatives that it be developed for community use or utilised for artistic purposes.

The local authority has come under fire in the past over the number of unoccupied public buildings in Tuam – which also includes the Town Hall and the old courthouse.

The matter came up for discussion at a meeting of Galway County Council when Director of Services Liam Hanrahan gave an undertaking to give consideration for the development of this old fire station which became vacant in late 2018.

And Mr Hanrahan also confirmed that the old fire station in Loughrea would also be looked at along with the old courthouse in Portumna as part of a regeneration project.

The matter was raised by Cllr Donagh Killilea (FF) who said that the provision of the new state-of-the-art fire station at Milltown Road in Tuam was welcome, it also created another headache.

He said that when Galway County Council create a new premises for the emergency services, for example, they should have a plan in place to utilise the building they were vacating.

“Of course it is essential that the emergency have the most up to date facilities but it is also unacceptable that the Council have no plans for a prime building that is now left empty.

“When the Council are embarking on the provision of a new building, it should be done in tandem with their intentions for the building that is being left idle rather than seeing it fall into dilapidation and vandalism,” said Cllr Killilea.

Since its closure, it has even been suggested that the old fire station be transformed into residential accommodation for the elderly given its location close to the town centre.

The old fire station in Tuam was closed as it was felt that, given its location at High Street in the town, the response times to emergencies were compromised by traffic congestion.

Now, the new fire station is located on the N17 and has immediate access to the Tuam bypass and motorway.

Since its closure, there have been suggestions that the Council make it available to local community or artistic groups or even as an enterprise centre for small start-up businesses.

However, Galway County Council have given an undertaking to come up with an action plan for the building and extensive grounds. It will be raised at the next meeting of the local authority.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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