Written Answers. - National Monuments.

John McGuinness

Question:

148 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if £300,000 has been allocated to the restoration of French Church, County Waterford, under the Operational Programme for Tourism 1994-99; if so, the reason work has not commenced; and when work will commence. [22300/98]

Initially, an allocation of £300,000 was made in respect of the restoration of the French Church and the provision of an exhibition. Subsequently I assumed guardianship of the neighbouring Reginald's Tower under the National Monuments Acts, 1930-1994, and the project was altered to provide for the restoration of Reginald's Tower, since completed, as well as the provision of information panels to enhance the presentation of the French Church. In addition, an exhibition relating to both the tower itself and the French Church is being provided in Reginald's Tower. Conservation of the French Church will commence in 1999 under my own Department's Exchequer funded programme of capital works.

John McGuinness

Question:

149 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the work force employed in County Waterford to service the national monuments of that area; if she has satisfied herself that the numbers employed are adequate; and the plans, if any, she has to recruit more. [22301/98]

County Waterford is one of 11 counties or part of counties served by the Mallow and Kilkenny national monuments depots. A workforce of approximately 100 is assigned to the Mallow and Kilkenny national monuments depots and the sub-depots within the regions. Repair, maintenance and conservation of all national monuments in State care is undertaken on a programmed basis.

The number of staff assigned to the depots is continually reviewed and is revised as the finite resources at my disposal permit. At present, the number of employees required to meet our current programme of work is marginally below the desired level but my Department is at present seeking to augment its workforce to an appropriate complement.