The Defence property portfolio consists of a diverse range of facilities from conventional military barracks to forts, camps, dwelling houses and training lands. The principal assets are 23 permanently occupied barracks. The Department also owns 26 premises that are used by the Reserve Defence Forces. A further 51 properties are rented for use by the Reserve. At present there are 4 barracks that have been vacated and negotiations in relation to their disposal is ongoing.
The property portfolio also includes a total of 150 married quarters that are mainly located within the Curragh Camp. The policy is that these should be phased out in a managed and orderly way. The Department and the Defence Forces continually review Defence Forces requirements in relation to barracks, infrastructure and other military installations. A total of ten barracks have been closed over the past 10 years.
The funding realised from the disposal of surplus military barracks together with pay savings has provided resources for the modernisation of the Defence Forces and has been invested in new infrastructure, equipment and training area development. Any further properties which are deemed to be surplus to military requirements will continue to be disposed of and the funding invested to meet the current and future equipment and infrastructure needs of the Defence Forces. That said, the question of disposal in the current market is an issue which will require detailed and prudent consideration to ensure that we maximise the return to the Defence Forces for properties sold. My Department has had discussions on the disposal of properties with a number of local authorities, heritage and community based groups.