NEW BARRACKS: Michael O’Dwyer (MD, Constructors O’Dwyer Ltd.), presenting the keys of the new Garda Barracks in Mitchelstown to Garda Sergeant Gerry Towey in 1982. Also included are Garda Superintendent P Murray, Fermoy (left) and Gardai P Hayes, P Laffan, J O’Riordan and M Burke. (The Avondhu Archives)

Mitchelstown gardaí formally moved into their splendid new £200,000 station on Friday afternoon, July 23, 1982 and hereunder is how The Avondhu covered the notable occasion.

‘In an historic moment Garda Superintendent Patrick Murray accompanied by Sergeant Gerry Towey and four gardaí attached to Mitchelstown locked the door of the old station for the last time.

A few moments later they moved into their new building a few doors away.

The new station is a far cry from the old barracks which has been used as a police barracks since before the foundation of the State.

Among the facilities on the ground floor of the new barracks are a large control room, kitchenette, duty sergeant’s office, three cells and a breathalyser and urine testing’ room.

Upstairs there is a spacious parade/conference room, a coat drying room which is only normally provided in the bigger metropolitan stations, a kitchen and several offices. The barracks also has an interview room and public lobby.

LOCKING UP: Garda Superintendent P Murray, Fermoy Division, locks the door of the old barracks in Mitchelstown for the last time in 1982. He is accompanied by some of the gardaí based in Mitchelstown, l-r: Gardai M Burke, P Laffan, Sgt. G Towey, P Hayes and J O’Riordan. (The Avondhu Archives)


The move to the new building was wholeheartedly welcomed by Supt. Murray who has been a member of An Garda Siochana since 1943.

“I am so pleased to see that the members of An Garda Siochana are appreciated for their work,” said Supt. Murray. “The men at the Mitchelstown station have possibly the highest work return per man in the division,” he said, “they also rank very highly in the force as a whole.”

The superintendent said that the gardaí in Mitchelstown have a very good relationship with the public.

“We would hope and expect this to continue especially in view of the current drive against crime,” he said. “Good public relations is vital for our work”, he added “I have no doubt that this has helped with the high efficiency level in Mitchelstown.”

Supt. Murray explained that Mitchelstown garda manning levels are at good strength, having two sergeants, one detective and eleven gardaí.

“Mitchelstown is one of the busier stations on the main Cork to Dublin road,” he said. “Although efficiency in the station is very high I would be hopeful that its manpower strength might be increased as soon as possible.”

It can be easily understood why these men have at last been given suitable working conditions.

He continued: “Even as a non-expert I cannot but notice the superb workmanship and finish of the building,” he said.

It merits the highest praise for Constructors O’Dwyer Ltd. The superintendent said he is pleased that such high consideration is given to hygiene.

“A long awaited wanted in the older garda buildings,” he said. “This is noteworthy and it is considerable that even as we approach the last quarter of the twentieth century that there is still one station in the Fermoy division without proper sanitary facilities.”

A unique feature of the design is the fine statue of the patron saint of Mitchelstown (St Fanahan) outside the barracks.

“Hopefully his presence there will have an effect on the would be wrong doers,” added Superintendent Murray.

Sergeant Gerry Towey said the new accommodation is a major improvement on the old place. He said he would like to see other barracks in Ireland brought up to the same high standard.

“Gardaí around the county are doing a very good job under bad barrack conditions,” he said “and to me that is real dedication.”