Tuesday, 4 February 1992
Dáil Éireann Debate
1. Mr. McCartan asked the Taoiseach if he will outline (1) when the location of the replica garden created by Ireland at Osaka, Japan, will be decided upon; (2) where this will be located and (3) the way in which the project will be funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Taoiseach: It is intended to replicate the exhibit garden created for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition, 1990, at Osaka, Japan. A monument to Lafcadio Hearn, an eminent Irish writer on Japanese culture, is planned in association with the replica garden.
The co-ordinated design is not yet complete. Several sites in the Dublin area are under consideration. The choice will in part depend on the completed design. Discussions are continuing with a view to providing for the garden by sponsorship and donation.
Mr. McCartan: May I suggest to the Taoiseach that, for all practical purposes, the design is complete, and that perhaps  the outstanding difficulty is funding the project? Would the Taoiseach confirm that there are no more than two potential sites and that a signal from his office as to the ultimate location of the garden project would give the promoters some hope that the project would be implemented within this year? In what may well be one of the remaining days within which the Taoiseach will answer questions within the cultural sphere in this House it would be my hope that he could make some firm announcement that this project would be proceeded with.
The Taoiseach: I am in close touch with the people promoting this project and have given them every encouragement. I would go so far as to say that, to some extent, the idea was mine, so there is no need for me to be pushed on this matter.
Mr. McCartan: Without appearing to push the Taoiseach, could he give any indication to the House when consideration of the project will be finalised and a decision taken by him or his Department in the matter?
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