Former stations have growing appeal for home buyers and community groups
by James Rogers
Rural Garda stations may no longer be of service to the State but they appear to have growing appeal for home buyers and community groups around the country.
Last month, eight former Garda stations were sold at an auction in the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny for a combined price of €902,000 and more similar auctions are planned before the year is out.
The Garda stations were among 100 others which were closed by the Department of Justice as part of The Garda District and Station Consolidation programme in 2013.
Covering Offaly, Kilkenny, Wexford and Laois, the July sale of the stations averaged above €100,000 per station – an impressive return given the combined AMV of the eight properties was €410,000.
That puts the average sale figure well above that of last year when 21 Garda stations were sold by the Office of Public Works (OPW) for more than €1.8 million.
All of the properties at the latest auction hosted by Ganly Walters went for above their AMV. The biggest sale was €141,000 achieved for the station in Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny. This was followed by Inistioge, Co Kilkenny (€132,000), Geashill, Co Offaly (€123,000), Johnstown, Co Kilkenny (€115,000), Ballywilliam, Co Wexford (€110,000),Abbeyleix, Co Laois (€103,000), Ballinakill, Co Laois (€92,000) and Kiltealy, Co Wexford (€86,000).
There were more than 100 people in attendance at the auction, with 76 registered bidders from all over Ireland and the UK. Robert Ganly of Ganly Walters said they were “delighted with the sales”, adding that the vast majority of the properties were sold to local buyers.
The OPW are expected to issue an invitation to tender to estate agents for further Garda station auctions in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile the next station auction will take place on Tuesday, October 20th, when Ganly Walters will auction six Garda stations in the Landmark Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon. These properties will be based in both Donegal and Leitrim.
As appeared in the Irish Times on Thursday 13th August 2015