Dáil Éireann - Volume 586 - 25 May, 2004

Written Answers. - Defence Forces Property.

  97. Ms Harkin asked the Minister for Defence the arrangements that have been put in place to ensure a suitable premises for the two permanent Defence Force members and the 120 RDF members in Carrick-on-Shannon given that they must vacate the premises from which they are currently operating by 30 June 2004. [15185/04]

[431]   Mr. M. Smith: A suitable alternative premises has been identified in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, for the Reserve Defence Force unit concerned. A draft letting agreement is under consideration in my Department and in this regard the advice of the Chief State Solicitor has been sought with regard to the proposed terms and conditions.

  98. Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for Defence the situation with regard to improvement works at the Reserve Defence Forces location in Castlebar, County Mayo, at which there are two accommodation blocks still without electricity and improvements are needed in the cookhouse and on the fire alarm system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15186/04]

  Mr. M. Smith: Castlebar Barracks contains the headquarters of an infantry FCA battalion and the headquarters of a cavalry FCA battalion. A total of 29 personnel work in the barracks, but on average, only 15 are on duty on any given day. The main use of the barracks in previous years was the annual summer training camps for members of the Reserve Defence Force. However, because of health and safety factors, alternative arrangements were made to hold the summer camps last year and this year at other military posts, where accommodation and training facilities are of the highest standards.

The barracks is not used for accommodation purposes, and the cost of providing temporary facilities at the barracks for summer camps or the question of upgrading the present permanent accommodation and kitchen facilities to ensure compliance with building, health and safety and fire regulations raise value for money consideration.

I have no proposals at present to close any Reserve Defence Force facility but in regard to annual summer camps at Castlebar Barracks, I must have regard to value for money considerations and competing priorities for limited resources.