Written Answers. - Defence Forces Property.

Michael Ring

Question:

326 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to possible plans to sell lands in County Galway for the establishment of a regional airport; if this land is going up for public tender or is to be sold privately; the effect this new airport in County Galway will have on Knock Regional Airport in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20381/00]

The Department's lands at Oranmore are the primary range and training area for military personnel of the Western Brigade and are in constant use throughout the year. The question of providing a new training area for military use to accommodate the range and mobility which the training of mechanised troops requires will be considered by my Department in the coming months. This consideration will include the possible relocation from Oranmore which may allow for the disposal of the lands at Oranmore for economic development. In the event of a sale the future use of the lands will be a matter for the developers in conjunction with the appropriate local authorities.