Dáil Éireann - Volume 495 - 13 October, 1998

Written Answers. - Army Barracks.

[160] 162. Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Defence whether James Stephens Barracks, County Kilkenny, will be the headquarters of the new amalgamated battalion, arising from the amalgamation of the 3rd and 30th Battalions contained in the Defence Forces review implementation plan of 1997; when this decision will be fully implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19399/98]

163. Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Defence the plans, he has, if any he has regarding the future of headquarters status for James Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny, and the amalgamation of the 3rd and 30th Battalions in view of the public concern being expressed; his views on the claims being made that the commanding officers have decided to relocate the headquarters from Kilkenny to Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19464/98]

Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): The current reform process for the Defence Forces is the most far-reaching and wide-ranging which the organisation has faced since its foundation. It is a most complex process and one which cuts across all areas of military life.

The establishment of the new Defence Forces headquarters came into operation on 1 October 1998 and work is being expedited in carrying out the other major changes due under the re-organisation programme including the amalgamation of infantry battalions.

Under the reorganisation plan, the 3rd Infantry Battalion which is stationed in the Curragh and the 30th Infantry Battalion which is stationed in Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny, are being amalgamated. The headquarters of the amalgamated battalion will be located in Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny. I am advised that the necessary infrastructure exists in Stephens Barracks to cater for the amalgamation.

165. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Defence whether private security firms have been engaged by the state in order to provide security for some or all of the Army barracks recently vacated by the Defence Forces; if so, the barracks involved and the security firms engaged; the cost per day to the State; the length of time he envisages this security to be required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19644/98]

Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): The position is that private firms have been engaged to provide security services at barracks which have recently been evacuated by the military authorities. Details are as follows:

[161]

Barracks

Security Firm

Murphy Barracks, Ballincollig, County Cork.

Sheahan Security, Ballincollig, County Cork.

Fitzgerald Camp, Fermoy, County Cork.

MCM Security Ltd., Leitrim Street, Cork.

Devoy Barracks, Naas, County Kildare.

Kennedy Security & Consultancy Ltd., Kildare town.

Military Barracks, Castleblayney, County Monaghan.

Trustguard Security Group Ltd., Dundalk.

The security firms have been engaged for an initial period of three months and will be required until the properties have been sold. The daily cost involved is approximately £1,400.

166. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Defence the future of the magazine located at the former Murphy Barracks, Ballincollig, County Cork; whether the Defence Forces are still providing security for this installation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19649/98]

Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): On 15 July 1998 the Government approved a programme of evacuation and sale of six barracks, including Murphy Barracks, Ballincollig, County Cork. Consequently, it is necessary to relocate the commercial explosives compound at Murphy Barracks. The Defence Forces are continuing to provide security for the compound pending its relocation.