Thursday, 18 April 1991
Dáil Éireann Debate
10. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the number of capital projects, including purchasing and construction of projects, undertaken at the Taoiseach's initiative in the last three years; the numbers of such projects which were put to tender; the number on which independent valuations were sought; if he will outline the procedure generally followed in his Department in respect of tendering and/or valuations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. V. Brady: Two capital projects have resulted from the enactment of the legislation to establish a national historic park on An Blascaod Mór. A visitor centre will be constructed on the mainland to interpret the heritage of the island and the landing facilities of the island itself will be improved. Acquisition of land for the visitor centre was handled by valuers from the Office of Public Works. Tenders have not yet been invited for the construction works but when they are normal Government contract procedures will apply.
Interpretative and visitor reception centres are being planned for the Ceide Fields, Ballycastle, County Mayo, which is a unique neolithic archaeological site, and for the Corlea Bog, Keenagh, County Longford where portion of a major timber trackway recently exposed and dating from the early Iron Age will be exhibited and preserved. Tenders will be sought for these projects in accordance with standard procedures.
The former College of Science in Merrion Street was refurbished to provide accommodation for the Taoiseach and his Department. The opportunity of the relocation of the School of Engineering was used to provide much needed additional accommodation for the Oireachtas and the Department of the Taoiseach  and to rationalise the space held by the Department of Finance.
Mr. O'Shea: I note that the project where the Government gave funding to UCD to purchase Carysfort College was not referred to by the Minister of State as one of the projects which initiated from the Taoiseach's office. Is the Minister categorically assuring the House that the project whereby the Government gave funding to UCD to purchase Carysfort College was not initiated from the Taoiseach's office in the first instance?
Mr. O'Shea: With respect, a Cheann Comhairle, my question related to projects which initiated from the Taoiseach's office. I asked if a particular project costing £8 million was funded by the State and whether it initiated from the Taoiseach's office. I suggest that that question is relevant to my original question and deserves to be answered here.
An Ceann Comhairle: It is certainly relevant if one differentiates between the general and the particular, but, as I said earlier, if the Deputy wanted information  concerning that matter it deserved a special question.
Mr. Noonan: (Limerick East): May I ask the Minister if there is any reference in his brief to the erection of a mooring at Inismhicealáin on the Blasket Islands, which I understand was put in place by the Irish Navy? Is that information included in his brief?
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