Dáil Éireann - Volume 530 - 20 February, 2001

Written Answers. - Departmental Properties.

48. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Finance if his Department has recently purchased a farm near Naas, County Kildare, from a company (details supplied); the total amount paid; the price per acre; the purposes for which the farm will be used; if, in making the purchase, his Department took into account that the company selling the land is under investigation by an inspector appointed by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28450/00]

Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Cullen): The Commissioners of Public Works purchased a farm at Longstown, Sallins, County Kildare from the company in question. The property was purchased at auction on 29 September. The purchase price is £5.65 million. When account is taken of the value of the main residence, a gate lodge, another residential property and exclusive farmyards and farm buildings, the cost per acre is about £13,000. The land is required by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development as a replacement for the farm at Abbotstown which is required for the development of Campus Stadium Ireland.

The property was purchased because of its exceptional suitability for the Department's purposes. Its location within easy reach of Backweston where the Department's laboratory facilities are to be relocated was particularly suitable. The range of buildings and farmyards which the property offered were also a particularly close fit to the Department's brief.

The Office of Public Works acted as agent for the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and was specifically concerned with the quality and value of the property, and that title was in order. An independent agricultural consultant and valuer advised in relation to the quality and value of the property. The vendors had good title to it. Full details of the transaction were furnished by the Office of Public Works to the Revenue Commissioners.