Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 06 October, 1999
Written Answers. - Army Barracks.
Mr. Wall Mr. Wall
135. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding the sale of the six Army barracks; the cost to date for security for each barracks; the number of meetings he has had with local authorities in each area to complete his Department's commitment to transfer 15 per cent of the land to the authorities and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19295/99]
Mr. M. Smith Mr. M. Smith
Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): The Government, on 15 July 1998, approved a programme of evacuation and sale of six barracks which are considered surplus to military requirements. The barracks in question are located at Fermoy, Ballincollig, Naas, Kildare, Castleblayney and Clancy Barracks, Dublin. With the exception of Clancy Barracks, which will be vacated by 1 July 2000, the other five barracks have been evacuated.
Following the Government decision, I had consultations with public and community representatives in each of the five locations in which barracks were subsequently evacuated. In addition to those initial meetings, I met with Members of the Oireachtas and local councillors in relation to Castleblayney Barracks on 3 February, 3 March, and 15 July 1999; local councillors and officials from Naas Urban District Council on 3 March, and 10 March 1999 in relation to Devoy Barracks, Naas, and I have met with councillors and an  official of Kildare County Council on 14 September 1999 in relation to Magee Barracks, Kildare. Discussions also took place between my officials and officials of Cork County Council on 2 December 1998 in relation to Fitzgerald Camp, Fermoy, and Murphy Barracks, Ballincollig. I propose meeting with members of Fermoy Urban District Council and officials of Cork County Council on 28 October 1999, to discuss a tender from Cork County Council relating to Fitzgerald Camp.
In relation to Castleblayney, I have decided to sell the site to the North-Eastern Health Board for £600,000. The legal and financial formalities have yet to be finalised. As regards Devoy Barracks, agreement has been reached between my Department and Naas Urban District Council on the transfer of part of the property to the council for local purposes. The balance of the property has been re-zoned for housing in line with the development plan for Naas UDC, which was adopted on 29 May 1999 and this property will be offered for sale in the near future.
Arising from a request from the Department of Foreign Affairs for accommodation to house Kosovar refugees, I offered that Department the opportunity to inspect the five vacated barracks to check their feasibility or otherwise for the accommodation of the refugees. Currently Magee Barracks, Kildare, is being used for this purpose on a temporary basis. In the interim, tenders from independent consultants are under consideration for the preparation of an area action plan in respect of the former barrack lands. The consultants will submit a report within three months of appointment. The sale of the barracks will proceed as soon as is practicable following evaluation of that report.
Following a tender competition for the appointment of independent consultants to draw up an integrated action area plan for Murphy Barracks, Ballincollig, consultants were appointed on 23 August 1999. That plan is due for completion by 23 November 1999 and the property will be disposed of following evaluation of that report.
The total cost, to date, of employing private security firms at the vacated military barracks is £549,737.58 while the amount by individual location is as follows : Devoy Barracks – £125,683.42; Fitzgerald Camp – £87,124.84; Castleblayney – £76,966.9; Murphy Barracks – £171,041.93; Magee Barracks – £88,920.48. The costs for security at Magee Barracks have been borne by the Eastern Health Board since that property was handed over to accommodate Kosovan refugees on 12 May 1999.
The military authorities have estimated that the savings to date on security duty allowances amount to £370,000 approximately. In addition, there have been significant savings on utilities such as telephone and electricity charges.
It is expected that up to £50 million will be realised from the sale of the barracks.
Dáil Éireann 508 Written Answers. Army Barracks.