Written Answers. - Architectural Heritage.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

848 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if all the legal formalities transferring ownership of the relevant portions of Lucan Demesne, County Dublin to each of the local authorities concerned have now been completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20710/00]

The position remains broadly unchanged since my most recent response to the Deputy, Question No. 460 dated 10 May 2000.

Two of the three local authorities concerned have yet to complete the legal transfer documents but I am pleased to confirm that all of the local authorities have now confirmed acceptance of the conditions governing development funding secured by my Department over the next five years for the demesne. A principal condition is that the demesne be opened to the public as soon as possible.

I would urge once again that Fingal County Council and Kildare County Council complete the legal formalities without delay. I am hopeful that the legal formalities will reach a conclusion in the near future.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

849 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands the present position in relation to the restoration work to Maynooth Castle, Maynooth, County Kildare; if she will now give a firm commitment that phase two of the restoration project will proceed in 2001; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20711/00]

Work on the restoration of the ground and first floors at Maynooth Castle is proceeding and I expect the project, including the provision of exhibitions, to be completed towards the end of this year or early in 2001. The priority once this is completed will be the provision of toilet facilities for both the general public and any guides who may be based at the site when it is open to the public. Officials of my Department are to meet in the near future representatives of the Maynooth College authorities to try to determine an appropriate location for these facilities. Provision of toilet facilities is essential if the castle is to open to the public in the summer of 2001.

The total investment for these projects is estimated at £1.5 million and this heritage site will be extensively marketed as part of the many heritage attractions managed by my Department.