Issue Date: 9th November 2023
Today, Thursday November 9, 2023, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris together with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, formally opened the new Garda Immigration Office at Dublin Port.
For approximately 20 years the Garda Immigration Unit for DMR North Central operated from a two-storey porta cabin structure at Dublin Port.
The new Garda Immigration Office provides a modern work space for An Garda Síochána to carry out immigration enquiries efficiently. Works carried out ensured the facility has a secure detention area to process detainees, as well as interview rooms to carry out interviews, and medical facilities.
Other additions include: an AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) room, a walk-in area for general public enquiries and provides space to host other Garda Units and partner agencies when coordinating joint operations.
Three Sergeants and 22 Gardaí assigned to immigration duties are currently based from this building, which is located next to the new Combined Terminal facility.
In addition to providing immigration checks Gardaí also provide a general policing service at Dublin Port and An Garda Síochána works closely with partner agencies and organisations across a range of Port activities. This includes participating in initiatives like Dublin SafePort, which works to make the Port a safer place to work and visit.
Speaking at the event, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, "This latest addition to An Garda Síochána’s estate, will ensure all passengers entering the State are immigrated in a safe and professional manner. Any passengers who are refused leave to land can be dealt with in a safe and speedy manner before their return, or if they are claiming asylum they can be medically examined here and treated if needed.
"This new office will not only enhance the services we provide here, but also gives us the potential to expand the Immigration Unit in the coming years.
Dublin Port is a key part of the national port system and our continued collaboration with non-governmental organisations, charity organisations, and voluntary groups from across the Dublin Metropolitan Region is a very important element of our work”.
Up to 2018 there were just two Sergeants and four Gardaí operating out of two Porta Cabins with a basic office, detention area and personal space. However, in preparation for Brexit, the number of Garda personnel assigned to immigration duties at Dublin Port greatly increased.
In light of this it was agreed to provide a long-term solution to address the accommodation needs. The Dublin Port Company offered An Garda Síochána the use of the former ‘Calor Gas’ building which had been vacant for a number of years.
This building provided a larger, more contemporary facility and a project of works were carried out by Garda Estate Management in close cooperation with the Office of Public Works (OPW). The building has been upgraded to ensure professional policing services could be maintained at Dublin Port.