§ 5. Mr. McCusker
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when it is hoped to start rebuilding Lurgan RUC Station.
§ The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. Roland Moyle)
The Police Authority for Northern Ireland, which is responsible for the provision of police buildings, expects work on the rebuilding of Lurgan RUC Station to commence later this year.
§ Mr. McCusker
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Lurgan police station was perfectly positioned to command the flashpoint area of the town and to protect both the business community and the minority Protestant community, which lives in northern Lurgan? Is he further aware of the bitterness in the town at the delay of three years in commencing to build the police station? Will he do all in his power to reduce any further delay?
§ Mr. Moyle
I expect work on the police station to begin later this year. It was destroyed in 1973, and in the intervening time there have been continual revisions of police requirements and security requirements for the station. That has caused the delay in the planning procedure, which is now nearly over.
§ Mr. Powell
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the use of the present building as a police station has deprived the people of a large area of one of the principal places for public meetings, and that therefore it is important that there should be no further delay?
§ Mr. Moyle
Yes, it is expected that the new station will be available for occupation by the RUC towards the end of 1978. We are very grateful for the way in which the Lurgan District Council has made its town hall available for the police, and we hope that the building of the police station will not be too long delayed.