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Garda Confidential No.: 1 800 666 111

The Depot

The History of Garda Headquarters

Image of the Royal Irish Constabulary Mounted Unit at the Garda Depot circa 1903

In 1836 the Phoenix Park in Dublin was chosen as the most suitable location for the new Constabulary. By the end of 1839 the Office of Public Works had plans ready for a barracks. The estimated cost was £10,000. The contract was won by Charles Carolin of Dublin. The main buildings fronting the Phoenix Park (c.1842) survive virtually unchanged to this day.


Over the years that followed various features were added including a gravel parade ground, a riding school for the mounted Constabulary, a chapel (now the Garda Band room), an infirmary (now the Depot Hospital) an officers' mess (now the Officers' Club) and a cavalry barracks in the 1860s.


The Phoenix Park Depot was first occupied by the new Garda Síochána early in 1923. For a period the Depot was used as a combined headquarters and training centre. A separate headquarters was then established at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.


In the early 1950s the Commissioner and his staff returned to the Depot. As a result it became necessary to provide either a new headquarters or a separate training centre. In the event a Training Centre was established in 1963 in the old military barracks at Templemore, Co. Tipperary. This is now the Garda College.