Legal issue may see gardaí evicted from Harcourt Square

Property investment company is in a dispute with Office of Public Works

Gardaí could be evicted from their command and control centre in Dublin city centre because of a legal dispute over a building at Harcourt Square.

The Hibernia Reit property investment company has confirmed it is in a legal dispute with the Office of Public Works over Harcourt Square.

Sources within the OPW said the situation had arisen because of bad planning on behalf of the OPW. No alternative accommodation has been lined up for the 500 people working in Harcourt Square, sources said.

The building houses the Garda communications centre and is described as the “nerve centre” of operations in the Dublin region. Staff in the centre handle emergency calls and a range of other responsibilities.


House half

An OPW source said alternative premises were being examined in

East Point

, near Dublin Tunnel, but this would only house a maximum of half of the employees in Harcourt Square.

Moving the command and control centre is also seen as hugely problematic, given the complicated systems.

Hibernia Reit’s annual results publication yesterday said that as four OPW leases “have either expired or are due to expire during 2016, we are seeking to gain vacant possession for redevelopment”.

The OPW has applied to the Circuit Court seeking statutory extension of the leases, but Hibernia Reit chief executive Kevin Nowlan said the company wants to pursue a "landmark development" on the site.

The OPW source described the situation as a “huge failure on our part” and predicted that Hibernia would significantly increase the rent even if the Garda is allowed stay.