Dáil Éireann - Volume 515 - 07 March, 2000

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

125. Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the amount of money spent since 1998 on improvements to the seized cattle compound at Abbotstown. [6676/00]

126. Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the status of contracts signed for the construction of seized bull pens at Abbotstown in view of the stated intention of the Government to move his Department's facilities from that location. [6677/00]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): I propose to take Questions Nos. 125 and 126 together.

A total of £507,838 has been spent since 1998 on improvements to the seized cattle compound in Abbotstown. Certain of the improved facilities service the needs of both seized animals and ani[1543] mals kept on the Department's farm for other purposes.

I understand from the Office of Public Works that contract stage has not been reached in relation to the construction of bull pens.

127. Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the status of the construction of a specialised microbiology unit with class 3 containment at Abbotstown in view of the Government decision to move the State laboratories from this location. [6678/00]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): The Government decided on 8 February 2000 to develop Sports Campus Ireland and Stadium Ireland on the State's property at Abbotstown.

In the circumstances, arrangements under way for the construction at Abbotstown of a specialised microbiology unit, with class three containment, have had to be set aside.

However, consequent on the Government decision, my Department is planning for the relocation of the Abbotstown facilities to Backweston, County Kildare. Provision for the construction of a specialised microbiology unit will be made in that context.

128. Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he will supply a copy of the conditions of sale of the lands which constitute the site of the Veterinary Research Laboratory and other State agencies at Abbotstown and, in particular, any conditions laid down at the time of purchase of the lands by the State regarding their future use. [6679/00]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): I am making arrangements to send to the Deputy a copy of the signed particulars and conditions of sale relating to the purchase of Abbotstown in 1950. Arrangements for the transfer of the property so as to facilitate the development of Sports Campus Ireland and Stadium Ireland, have not been finalised.