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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 15 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - State Cars.


asked the Minister for Justice if he will give the following information as regards each State car purchased from January, 1957, to 31st March, 1969: (a) the date purchased, (b) type and make of car, (c) date registered and registration number, (d) mileage covered by it, (e) cost of repairs and maintenance, (f) to whom it was allocated, (g) date sold, (h) where sold and (i) sale price.

The number of State cars purchased from January, 1957, to March, 1969, under the Votes for which I am responsible is 712.

It would be quite impossible at this stage to give all the particulars reacting quested and such particulars as could be given could only be compiled by the expenditure of a great deal of time and effort by members of the Force which would not be justified.

All these State cars are finally disposed of by public auction.

Are all State cars disposed of by public auction? A State car was taken last year from a Minister here in the city and brought down to Kerry where it crashed and was left there.

I am not so aware.

The Minister does not know anything about crashed cars?

I know a fair bit about it, unfortunately.

Does the Minister not know about this particular car to which I refer?

Next question, please.

As this is such a serious question, I am quite prepared to give a month to the officials concerned to get this information. I believe it should be available to the House and to the public. It is important that we should have that information. The Ministers of the Government are our servants just the same as Deputies of this House are the servants of our people. The people are entitled to know what the State cars are costing and what is eventually got for them when they are sold.

We have all that information. All State property of this sort is disposed of by public auction. These auctions are advertised and everybody is made aware of what is for sale at them. As the guardian of the public purse, I do not intend to waste public money in pursuing footling inquiries for the Deputy's satisfaction.

Was a State car taken, brought down to Kerry, driven by an unauthorised person, crashed and written off?

I have no knowledge of any such matter. I do not believe it happened. If the Deputy wants any information about such an alleged matter, he might put down a question.

How are we to find it out if the Minister will not tell us what happened to each individual car? There is some reason for hiding it to ensure that we cannot get it.