herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

City morgue for Whitehall Garda station

The country's "super morgue", which stalled when the economy collapsed, is to be built in the former Whitehall Garda Station in Dublin.

A spokesman from Dublin City Council (DCC) confirmed the move to the Herald saying that planning permission had been sought.

Whitehall Garda Station, on Griffith Avenue, was one of 31 stations around the country and one of four in Dublin to close last year.

And now the site is set to become the new city morgue which will hold both the offices of the State Pathologist and a place for autopsies to be carried out.

project

"The Office of Public Works on behalf of the Department of Justice and Equality and Dublin City Council are project managing the move of the Dublin City Morgue and the Offices of the State Pathologist from the O'Brien Institute in Marino to the former Whitehall Garda Station," said the DCC spokesman.

The representative added that preparatory works had already begun on the project.

"The OPW have applied to DCC for part nine planning permission in relation to the works required to facilitate this move to the former Garda Station at Whitehall," he added.

Three of the country's four state pathologists have been using temporary accommodation to carry out some of their work.

However, autopsies were not carried out in these porta-cabins but such things as medical reports were drafted there.

Back in 2010 work began on a state-of-the-art "super morgue" at the O'Brien Institute in Marino under the Fianna Fail Justice Minister of the time, Dermot Ahern.

Facility

At the time Mr Ahern said it would be "a world-class facility that will serve the operational needs" of the capital's pathologists and coroners for decades to come.

However, work stopped when the economy plunged into a recession.

The site at Marino, which was partially completed, had to be demolished by DCC.

It was due to be completed in the autumn of 2011.

At the sod-turning ceremony Mr Ahern called it a "milestone."

The failed project was estimated to have cost the tax payer €4m.

The Department of Justice spent €2.8m on the project and DCC was hit for €1m.

The Marino was located on the grounds of the Fire Brigade Training Centre.

The offices of the State Pathologist are still listed at this location.

jfegan@herald.ie

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