Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (81, 86)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

81. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he has witnessed the working conditions in the Curragh Camp; his plans to improve the facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52899/19]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

86. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he will take to ensure that living quarters in barracks nationwide are fit and habitable. [52721/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 81 and 86 together.

In order to ensure that the Defence Forces have the capability to deliver on all of the roles assigned by Government, I am committed to the development and improvement of the physical environment and living conditions in military installations throughout the country. The Defence Forces Built Infrastructure Programme is compiled on a priority needs basis by my Department in conjunction with the Military Authorities.

This year some €28m was allocated towards the maintenance of and the development of new building projects for the Defence Forces. This represents an increase of over €10m compared to 2018.

Over the period of 2016 to end 2018, some €17m was spent on various capital projects and ongoing maintenance of buildings and facilities in the Defence Forces Training Centre at the Curragh, most notably this included the refurbishment of Blocks B and D of Pearse Barracks as well as the provision of a newly constructed ammunition storage facility.

It is intended that in the region of €3.5m will be expended by year end on ongoing maintenance and improvement works in the Defence Forces Training Centre. One of the key projects currently underway is the upgrading and refurbishment of Plunkett Block 7 in the Curragh Camp, Defence Forces Training Centre at cost of some €2m. This project involves the refurbishment of an existing building to provide accommodation for 58 personnel to modern standards. Work on this project is advancing well and is expected to be completed in Q2 2020.

A competitive tendering process is also underway for the provision of a new Cadet School Headquarters Building in the Curragh at a cost of €2m. This project involves the construction of a new building to provide office and ancillary accommodation for the management, lecturer and support staff.

I can confirm to the Deputies that my Department, together with the military authorities, are actively developing a 5 year Built Infrastructural Plan. I am advised that this Plan, which will address infrastructural requirements for all our military installations, is now at a very advanced stage of development and will be completed in the coming weeks.

Question No. 82 answered with Question No. 61.