Dáil Éireann - Volume 291 - 01 June, 1976

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Donegal Factory.

13. Mr. Blaney asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state the name of the owner of the precious woods factory at Milford, County Donegal; the efforts that have been or are being made to revive the industry there or to find an alternative; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Bruton: I understand the factory is owned by Precious Woods Ltd., now in receivership. The IDA, in conjunction [458] with the receiver, have been seeking, and will continue to seek, a suitable alternative industry to take over these premises. In 1975 three industrialists were brought to see the factory. In addition, the factory has been brought to the notice of a number of other firms both in Ireland and abroad.

Mr. Blaney: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that since the closure of this factory a short while ago, the home market for the product which heretofore was made there is being supplied from very far afield with a very inferior product? A revival of this industry would be useful not only to Milford but to the national effort as well.

Mr. Bruton: If what the Deputy has said is the case it should be profitable for an industrialist to take up the plant which is on offer from the receiver. I am sure the receiver is making use of information of the type given by the Deputy in seeking to promote this plant.

Mr. Blaney: I hope our fears about this factory will not be realised. We fear it may be sold for other than an industrial purpose. Will the Government and the IDA ensure that it does not go out of use as a potential industrial site? It is a very good building and a very good location. The rumours are that it may go to some other use.

Mr. Bruton: In addition to the fact that three industrialists were brought to look at the plant in 1975, a detailed profile of the company has been circulated to all IDA overseas offices and a number of firms have considered this profile at these offices. In addition, Irish firms in the industry have been contacted by the IDA and I trust that since the matter has been brought to public notice the plan will be promoted further.

Mr. Blaney: There is one vital matter which I trust will be brought to the attention of the Minister, that is, that since the factory is in receivership and has been offered for sale the Minister should ensure that it [459] is not allowed pass into the hands of people who would use it for purposes other than an employment-giving endeavour. In other words, the State should not allow it to be sold at a bargain price for some other use.

Mr. Bruton: I am sure that no receiver would sell a plant at a bargain price. His concern would be to get the best price possible. In view of what the Deputy has said industrial use would be the most profitable purpose for which the plant could be used. Consequently, I expect it would be sold by the receiver to an industrial concern.

Mr. Blaney: Naturally——

An Ceann Comhairle: We must move on to the next question.

Mr. Blaney: ——the receiver would seek the best price possible but the price he has been offered is not good. It is a price that neither the IDA nor any Government agency have bettered. Indeed, they have not even met it and this might result in the receiver being forced ultimately to accept this price.

Mr. Bruton: I shall convey the Deputy's comments to the IDA.