Written Answers. - Autism Services.

John McGuinness

Question:

346 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children the progress in providing a centre of excellence for autism at Myshall, County Carlow; if any further meetings have been held with this group; and if the Departments of Finance or Justice, Equality and Law Reform have defined their positions or requirements with regard to the property; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7703/01]

The future use of the property mentioned by the Deputy has been the subject of discussions between officials from my Department, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Office of Public Works. My Department has now informed the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform that the South Eastern Health Board has confirmed that the property would be suitable to accommodate a residential service, subject to refurbishment and other modifications being carried out.

I understand the next step is for the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to formally notify the Office of Public Works that it is not its intention to use the property. Discussions can then take place between my Department and the Office of Public Works as to its future use by the health services.

It will be a matter for the South Eastern Health Board to follow up with the group in question on the future use of the property as soon as the aforementioned arrangements have been finalised.