The purchase of a site for a new Garda station in Sligo town is being finalised.

The planning process for the €20 million development is expected to begin imminently for the site, which is in the Caltragh area of the town.

The existing station has been the subject of controversy for several years and last November members of the Garda Representative Association working there walked out of the building.

They refused to work in it in protest against what they said were overcrowded and unsafe conditions. 

Just over a week later, the gardaí returned to the station having been directed to do so by management.

However they said they did so under protest, conscious that if they ignored the direction they could face consequences under discipline regulations.

A new station was sanctioned by the then government in 2015 and there has been much criticism of the delay in procuring a site.

Local Fine Gael TD Tony McLaughlin has said the process to buy the site is now being finalised by the Office of Public Works and the Chief State Solicitors Office and will be completed in the coming days.