andMr. Harte asked the Minister for Education the up-to-date cost of converting the former Saint Columba's Hospital, Killybegs; and if he will consider the necessity of holding a public inquiry into this whole matter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Killybegs Hospital Conversion.
I understand that the estimated cost of reconstructing the former Saint Columba's Hospital, Killybegs, for use as a hotel training school and as a hotel during the summer months is £181,000, exclusive of professional fees. Having regard to the dual purpose which the premises will serve I do not feel that the figure of cost is such as would call for any inquiry.
May I ask if this is the final figure?
Yes, it is.
We may take this as an assurance that there will be no extra cost?
That is the final figure.
You would not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar.
We in the Government are very interested that through Bord Fáilte Donegal, and County Donegal in particular, should take its rightful place in the tourist hotel business. This is an endeavour in this direction. If Deputy Harte wishes to disturb that development he can do so, but I want to put him precisely back in the box where he belongs as an opponent of the tourist and hotel industry in County Donegal.
The Minister has not got even the support of his own Fianna Fáil councillors in this matter. It is a shame, a disgrace and a scandal that a hospital should be converted into a hotel at a cost of £181,000—and that is not the final figure, for the Minister's information—when there is such a crying need in the county for accommodation for the mentally handicapped. If this is what the Minister stands over I shall challenge him to debate it.
The Deputy may not make a statement on this.
We are as much interested in tourist development as the Minister for Education but this is not the way we would go about it.
The biggest potential for development in County Donegal is in the hotel industry and Bord Fáilte are now concentrating on County Donegal——
It is a shame that you should spend £181,000 converting a hospital into a hotel.
——giving substantial loans and grants towards the hotel industry and training personnel to staff these hotels.
It is a scandal to spend £181,000 converting a hospital into a hotel.
Will the Deputy please conduct himself?
This is not a question on the Adjournment.
Will Deputy Harte please conduct himself?
But this is an outrage— £181,000 to convert a hospital into a hotel.
This is disorderly. This is the National Parliament not the crossroads.
And this is public money being wasted.
The Deputy should conduct himself. He is most disorderly.
Donegal County Council is the place for this.