Written Answers. - National Development Plan.

John Bruton

Question:

949 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands the works to be carried out under the national development plan at Bective Abbey, County Meath, at St. Eric's Hermitage at Slane, County Meath, at Trim Town Hall and at Trim Castle; and if she will give a timeframe for each of the proposed works. [1272/01]

Under the national development plan I propose to carry out the following works at the sites referred to by the Deputy.

Bective Abbey, County Meath.

I propose providing a reception building, public toilets and a car park. To allow this project to proceed a land purchase is required. Early progress is therefore dependent on concluding a successful purchase and the receipt of planning permission. Subject to the foregoing I would expect work at the site to get under way during 2002 and to be completed during 2004.

St. Eric's Hermitage at Slane, County Meath.

I intend undertaking essential conservation works at this site. However, before these works can be commenced it will be necessary to transfer the property from the current owner to my Department. Discussions in this regard have been ongoing for some time. Subject to a successful transfer of the lands in question, I expect the conservation works to commence during 2002 and to be completed before the end of 2003.

Trim Town Hall and Trim Castle, County Meath.

At present my Department is formulating a brief in relation to the development of Trim Town Hall, having regard to the needs of the adjoining Trim Castle. In this context it will be necessary to assess the requirements for the presentation of the castle over a number of seasons. Detailed planning for the Trim Town Hall project should commence during late 2002. This timeframe will allow works on site to start during 2003. In the meantime work is continuing on the landscaping of Trim Castle and I expect this element of the project to be completed during 2001.