Dáil Éireann - Volume 367 - 27 May, 1986

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - New Regional Technical Colleges.

25. Mr. L. Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Education if he will give an up-to-date progress report on plans for new regional technical colleges which were outlined in the document Building on Reality 1985-87 and re-announced by his predecessor 12 months ago.

Mr. Kenny: Consultants have been appointed for all five proposed new regional technical colleges. Sites have been acquired for the colleges at Tallaght and Dún Laoghaire and architectural planning of these two colleges has commenced. Negotiations are at an advanced stage for the acquisition of a site at Blanchardstown.

The question of the acquisition of sites for the Thurles and Castlebar colleges is being actively pursued.

Mr. L. Fitzgerald: Given that provision was made for equipment for Castlebar, Thurles, Tallaght, Blanchardstown and for one other area in the document Building on Reality and was re-announced by the previous Minister some 12 months ago, will the Minister be more specific regarding the progress in relation to the four proposed RTCs? He mentioned that the architect's plans in the case of Dún Laoghaire were at an advanced stage——

Mr. Kenny: And Tallaght.

Mr. L. Fitzgerald: The Carriglea complex is at present being used by the College of Art and the staff are trained and suitably qualified. Will the Minister say why this will not be used immediately as [39] one of the RTCs and why a board of management have not been established already?

Mr. Kenny: The Deputy's question referred to a progress report for new RTCs and I have given him that. He may take it that these matters are being actively pursued.

Mr. L. Fitzgerald: The previous Minister for Education saw fit to re-announce this package some 12 months ago. Given all the publicity and hype at that time, does the Minister not consider it odd that the Department have not launched Dún Laoghaire as one of the RTCs?

Mr. Kenny: There is nothing odd about that, even though it may appear a little unusual to the Deputy. He can take it that these RTCs are being dealt with as quickly as possible.

Mr. L. Fitzgerald: The Minister mentioned the sites in question. Will he state if all the sites have been purchased?

Mr. Kenny: No.

Mr. L. Fitzgerald: Which have not been purchased?

Mr. Kenny: I said sites have been acquired for Tallaght and Dún Laoghaire. We are at an advanced stage of negotiation in respect of Blanchardstown, and Castlebar and Thurles are being dealt with also.

Mr. L. Fitzgerald: It may not seem odd to the Minister of State but it is the most blatant form of publicity hunting to announce twice—

An Ceann Comhairle: That is not a question. I am calling Question No. 26.

Mr. L. Fitzgerald: Two announcements were made regarding the provision of the colleges but it appears all the sites have not been purchased.

[40] Mr. Kenny: There are other forms of publicity with which the Deputy is well acquainted. He can take it as being the policy of the Department that sites have been acquired in two of the cases. Blanchardstown is at an advanced stage and sites for the other two cases are being dealt with.