Up to 20 garda stations that closed in the past two years are to be sold by the Summer.

The Government had announced the closure of 139 stations, 135 of which have now been shut over the past two years.

The identity of one of the 20 stations to be sold is Kilmessan Garda Station in Co Meath.

The locations of the other stations that will go on the market is not known yet.

Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW Brian Hayes said an audit of stations would be completed in the coming weeks.

He said the audit would ensure that the sales would be spread around the country and they would have a monetary value.

Minister Hayes said they would wait and see what quotes emerge following the valuation process.

The minister said it is important from the State's perspective to realise the value of these sites, some of which he said are quite significant.

He said he was also open to community and voluntary groups making submissions for stations.

Minister Hayes added that the last thing that is needed is stations becoming derelict.

It is understood 17 stations that have masts with licenses will not be sold in the short term.

The Garda Representative Association said the closure and sale of the stations will reduce the service to the public and signals the withdrawal of policing from rural life.