Dáil Éireann - Volume 647 - 19 February, 2008
Written Answers. - Army Barracks.
Deputy Michael D’Arcy Deputy Michael D’Arcy
Deputy Michael D’Arcy asked the Minister for Defence the reason the proposed renovation of military accommodation in A, B and C blocks in Cathal Brugha Barracks has not commenced on schedule; when work will start; and the revised projected completion date. [6366/08]
Deputy Willie O’Dea Deputy Willie O’Dea
Deputy Willie O’Dea: Defence Forces Regulations require members of the Defence Forces to live in Barracks unless they are given permission to live out. Over the years the practice has been for significant numbers of personnel to live out of barracks.
Currently, the Defence Forces have the capacity to provide long-term living-in accommodation for up to 2,800 personnel, which represents about 25% of all personnel. This is in  addition to a significant capacity to provide short-term accommodation for those engaged in training or participating in military exercises or operations.
As part of the Defence Forces modernisation programme €40m (approximately) has been spent from 1999 to-date on refurbishing both long-term and short-term accommodation across the Defence Forces.
Arising from the changing security situation and to provide a sound basis for future modernisation of living-in accommodation my Department, in conjunction with the military authorities, is undertaking a study to identify the Defence Forces’ overall operational requirement for personnel required to live in barracks and the standard of accommodation to be provided. I expect that this work will be completed in the coming weeks.
The outcome of the study will provide the basis for a 3-5 year programme of refurbishment of living-in accommodation to be undertaken in conjunction with the overall Defence Force Infrastructure Development Programme. In considering the priorities for the building programme for 2008 and 2009 my Department has decided that no further costs will be incurred on the refurbishment of living-in accommodation until the 3-5 year plan is in place.
The requirement for living-in accommodation in Cathal Brugha Barracks is being considered as part of the overall Defence Force requirements and the provision of any accommodation required there will be addressed in the 3-5 year programme.
Arising from the outcome of the living-in study I will also consider amending the Regulations to reflect a change in emphasis from one of people living in unless given permission to live out, to one of people living out unless required to live-in.
Dáil Éireann 647 Written Answers. Army Barracks.