Thursday 14 December 2017

Current Station is a listed building

IT MAY not be pretty, but it is protected.

Wexford's Garda Station at Roche's Road came in for some serious stick at the JPC meeting.

Now out-dated and far too small, the station has long since ceased to be 'fit for purpose' for Gardaí working there, as well as the public and prisoners.

Temporary accommodation has recently been provided at the back of the Roche's Road station at a cost of €250,000, which has improved matters somewhat, but nonetheless the JPC members hope that this will not be in use for too long.

Cllr Padge Reck asked the OPW Commissioner John McMahon what they intend to do with the building once the new station is constructed at Roxborough.

He said the building is crucially important from an aesthetic point of view and part of the old town. He also asked if it was listed. Deputy Brendan Howling informed him that 'amazingly for such an ugly building' it is in fact listed.

Mr McMahon said that the OPW will first see if the Roche's Road station could be used by another State department, such as social welfare, first, But if it is deemed 'surplus to requirements' it will be sold.

A look at the records reveals that the two-storey Garda Station was built in the late 1930s.

The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) say it is 'an elegantly composed middle-size station built to designs prepared by the OPW, representing an important element of the early to mid-20th century architectural heritage of Wexford town'.

The reason for this is the now oftderided station is in fact the 'earliest purpose built civic institution established in the locality following Independence (1922)'.

'Unlike the conservative approach to design evident in many contemporary counterparts across the county or country, the station in Wexford exhibits characteristics redolent of the fashionable modern styles including the horizontal bias of the composition produced by the construction in bands of reconstituted stone and red brick,' notes the NIAH.

All of this would no doubt fail to impress Cllr Reck who said the tendency in this county and country is 'to protect every building De Valera ever threw his cap down in'.

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