Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Telephone Contracts Office.

11.

Mr. Kitt

andMr. Molloy asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if his Department has any proposals to open a telephone contracts office in County Galway; and the present position regarding these proposals.

It is proposed to open a telecommunications office in Galway City as soon as possible after suitable accommodation—at present being sought—has been obtained.

Mr. Kitt

In view of the fact that there are 1,620 applications for telephones, of which only 500 will be installed this year as the Minister has told us, does the Minister agree that it is very important that a telephone contracts office be opened immediately? I should like to know what efforts his Department has taken to get office premises in Galway City?

The Department has been seeking suitable accommodation in Galway for some time. A number of buildings have been ininspected but, for various reasons, it has not been possible to date, I am sorry to say, to conclude a letting. The most recent negotiation concerned a building in which accommodation is already rented by this Department for the Engineering Branch and also by other Government Departments. The position there is that the agents concerned have invited further inspection of part of the premises where adaptation works have now been carried out for another tenant. The Office of Public Works has been requested to arrange inspection by an architect and to report whether adaptation of the available accommodation to meet the Department's requirements would be feasible.

Mr. Kitt

Might I ask the Minister if the Hynes building and bank building in Mainguard Street has been considered by his Department?

That is the building I referred to.

Mr. Kitt

Can the Minister tell me why it is so difficult to get office premises for approximately 11 or 12 persons, since his Department has been looking for office premises for two-and-a-half years? Can the Minister tell me why it is so difficult for so few persons?

The matter of building primarily concerns the Office of Public Works. I have given the Deputy the information in my possession. We are still awaiting a report regarding the Hynes building. If that accommodation is considered suitable, the problem will be solved but otherwise we shall have to continue the search until suitable accommodation is found.

Can the Minister say whether a building in Eglinton Street was examined?

I do not know but I will have the question looked into.