Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (278)

Denis Naughten

Question:

278. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Defence his future plans for Custume Barracks, Athlone; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2961/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Defence Forces Built Infrastructure Plan 2020-2025 provides a blueprint for investment in the Defence Forces built infrastructure over a five year timeframe and is designed to modernise and enhance the training, operational and accommodation facilities of the Defence Forces.

There are currently over €68m worth of projects underway at different stages of development. This level of expenditure will continue to increase and is projected that over the five years some €145m will be invested.

The commitment to the ongoing operation of Custume Barracks, Athlone, has been reaffirmed with the recent completion of the new Dining Hall complex. It was recognised that there was a need to refurbish and upgrade the Dining Hall for the purpose of providing a modern kitchen and dining facility to accommodate all ranks stationed at the Barracks. The main works contract, valued at €4.1m, was awarded in October 2018 and work was completed in 2020. The facility is now fully operational and the upgrade and refurbishment ensures the long-term viability of the complex at the Barracks.

The Built Infrastructure Plan recognises the need for the development of a permanent Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS) hangar and associated helicopter facilities at Custume Barracks. The development of strategic infrastructure of this nature will be progressed further as the Plan is implemented.

Custume Barracks is and will continue to be an important operational military barracks. There are no plans to change this.