Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

820 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if her attention has been drawn to the proposals by commercial interests to develop the area in the immediate vicinity of Kilmainham Jail; and if she has considered the possibility of purchasing the adjacent property to further develop the heritage and tourism potential of the jail in view of its importance in Irish history generally. [19268/00]

Gay Mitchell

Question:

824 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if she and the Minister of State at her Department will take steps to acquire the site (details supplied) opposite Kilmainham Gaol, which is adjoined by Dúchas properties, as a heritage site for development by the State in view of the antiquity of the area and its importance in Irish history due to the fact that the site is directly opposite the gaol in which the 1916 Rising leaders were incarcerated and executed; if she will ensure that Dúchas objects to the current planning applications for the site; and if she will object to the planning application. [19506/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 820 and 824 together.

My Department is aware of the development proposed for the site directly opposite Kilmainham Gaol and officials of the Department have been in contact with the developer concerning elements of the scheme to ensure that the heritage of Kilmainham Gaol and access to it is safeguarded. No decision has yet been made regarding possible observations to the planning authority in relation to the development.
As the site referred to by the Deputies is earmarked for a major commercial development, the question of its acquisition by my Department does not arise.