Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Employment Exchange Facilities.

12.

asked the Minister for Labour if he is aware that unemployed females attending the employment exchange in Beresford Place, Dublin, are obliged to queue on the stairs down into Old Abbey Street and stand for a considerable time in the cold and rain; and that the employment exchange officials have repeatedly informed unemployed females that the building is in a dangerous condition and that there is a great danger of the stairs collapsing from the weight of people; and, if so, when he proposes to make proper facilities available.

I am aware of the deficiencies in the employment exchange premises at Beresford Place, Dublin. Alternative accommodation has been secured and this is at present being prepared for use.

Will the Minister say when this alternative accommodation will be made available? We are now entering the winter season and these people must stay out in the cold while queuing due to the statement made by an official that the stairs are in a bad way. It is all right to say that we shall have further accommodation but when will it become available?

The Office of Public Works is at present engaged in fitting and furnishing Cumberland House, Cumberland Street. I fear it will not be ready before next January. I cannot be precise about it but that is my expectation.

How long have the Office of Public Works been engaged in repairing this building?

I cannot say.

Surely the Minister is not serious. He must have the information on his file as to how long this work has been in progress?

No, I have not. The house has been acquired for some time but I do not think the Office of Public Works began work there until recently.

How long is the Minister aware that the Beresford Place building is in a dangerous condition?

About the time the floors were certified as being dangerous. That was the time we took steps to acquire new premises.

Could the Minister be more specific.

About a year.

What action did the Minister take when notified that the stairs were in bad condition?

I personally took action to get the Office of Public Works to procure new premises and to fit them.

Am I to take it that it took a year for any action to be taken about this?

What steps is the Minister taking to remove the immediate danger?

There is no immediate danger. Temporary shoring has been done to keep it safe.

Will the Minister issue a statement telling them they can use the staircase?

I will leave that to the experts.

Therefore it must be dangerous.