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Plans advance on new Fire Service headquarters in Galway


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Plans advance on new Fire Service headquarters in Galway Plans advance on new Fire Service headquarters in Galway

Galway Fire Service is closing in on the acquisition of a greenfield site to build a new, modern headquarters to serve the city and county for decades to come.

Plans to replace the Fr Griffin Road HQ – which opened in the 1950s – have been mooted since 2000.

It’s understood that a potential site has been identified, and the practicalities of its location – in Galway City – are being examined by a team headed by senior Fire Service personnel.

Galway County Council administers the shared service on behalf of itself and Galway City Council.

The County Council’s then Director of Services in 2011, Eugene Cummins, confirmed the need for a new, modern building to replace the Claddagh building.

In 2019, there were calls from current Cathaoirleach of the County Council, Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) for the Fire Service HQ to be re-located to Galway Airport, taking advantage of hangars at the 115-acres site jointly owned by the two Councils. That failed to progress.

Feasibility studies were conducted on several sites in 2020, and it’s understood an emerging preferred option has now been chosen.

In a statement to the Connacht Tribune, a spokesperson for the Fire and Emergency Services Unit said: “Galway County Council is in ongoing discussions with all relevant parties to progress the issue of identifying an appropriate site for a new Galway City Fire Station and Fire Service Headquarters. To date the process of identification of an appropriate site has not been completed”.

Sources at County Hall have indicated a site has been identified, and there was momentum building towards delivery.

The current Fire Station at Fr Griffin Road has been using “temporary” portacabins as offices for 20 years.

In 2021, the City Council again granted an extension of planning permission for the prefab structures. That permission runs until 2025, and sources at County Hall said they want to make progress on the new headquarters before then.

“When the Fr Griffin Road station was opened in 1956, it was considered state-of-the-art. That’s no longer the case. If you look at Waterford, it has a state-of-the-art headquarters, as do many other counties. It is time a modern city and county like Galway had a modern Fire Service Headquarters,” the source said.

Progress has been made on several county fire stations in the past decade since debate about the city HQ re-emerged.

Tuam got an upgraded Fire Station in 2018; An Cheathrú Rua got a Fire Station in 2016. Progress is being made on plans for new Fire Stations in Athenry and Loughrea.

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