THE head of the Limerick garda division says the opening of a secure facility for the storage of evidence will prevent any further incidents of exhibits being lost or destroyed.
Chief Superintendent David Sheahan says the Property and Management store which will be located at Roxboro Road garda station is due to open early in the New Year.
When opened, the secure facility will be used for the storage of evidence gathered by gardai across the Limerick garda division.
Similar storage facilities have been rolled out in garda divisions elsewhere in the country and works to build the new facility in Limerick have been ongoing for almost a year.
“All the logistics have been done in the last week or ten days,” said Chief Supt Sheahan who said the new facility is badly needed.
“We were running behind because we couldn’t get a suitable location but the suitable location has been found and it has been decked out to the standard that is required under the management processes and policies that are in place in respect of it,” he said.
Confirmation that the new storage facility is to open comes less than a week after a judge said the current system of storing exhibits in Limerick “beggars belief”.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly made his comments at Limerick Court during a burglary case after it emerged the exhibits in that case had been destroyed in a fire at Henry Street garda station almost two years ago.
The court was told that as the exhibits room at the garda station was full at the time, the exhibits had, instead, been placed in the boiler room, where the boiler exploded on January 21, 2011.
The court heard exhibits relating to a number other investigations were also destroyed in the fire but that there was no definitive list of the exhibits which were being stored there.
While insisting that the development of the new storage facility is not directly linked to the incident in January 2011, Chief Supt Sheahan says the opening of the new unit will prevent any similar incidents from happening in future.
“Hopefully by the start of the new year it will be up and running which will prevent any occurrence of that nature happening again,” he said.