Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Closure of Military Barracks.

9.

asked the Minister for Defence the estimated revenue which will accrue to the Exchequer from the closure and disposal of military barracks.

29.

asked the Minister for the Defence the sums which the planned disposal of Collins and Griffith Barracks are likely to yield.

(Limerick West): I propose to take Questions Nos. 9 and 29 together.

As recently announced, the Government have decided that Griffith Barracks, Dublin and Collins Barracks, Dublin should be disposed of. The necessary steps are being taken to implement that decision. It is not possible to say what the estimated revenue will be from the sale of the two properties mentioned.

What arrangements have been made in regard to the Army units at present stationed at each of these barracks and where is it proposed to relocate them? Will a capital cost be involved? Will the Minister indicate whether there has been a heavy capital investment in either of these barracks in recent years?

(Limerick West): It is a bit premature to give that information. However, arrangements are being made to relocate the military units at present stationed at Collins Barracks before the property can be offered for sale. These units include the Eastern Command Headquarters, the Infantry Battalion, Supply and Transport and Signals and Engineers Company. The question of relocating the units at present stationed at Collins Barracks is under consideration by the military authorities and my Department and it is not possible at the moment to give an indication of the precise arrangements.

In addition to the two barracks indicated, has the Minister any proposals in the pipeline for the sale of other premises, barracks in particular? Does he intend to have regard for the social uses to which these sites could be put and will he have regard to the architectural importance that might attach to these buildings in terms of conditions of sale to other parties?

The Deputy is broadening the scope of the question.

(Limerick West): At present I do not have any precise proposals to dispose of any other properties although some are being looked at. The properties, when vacated, will be offered for sale by public auction.

After the sale of these barracks, will Dublin be vulnerable in the event of war? There will not be enough accommodation for units.

(Limerick West): There is adequate accommodation for military personnel as we have three other barracks in Dublin.

I compliment the Minister for taking this step but would he agree with the view I have expressed often, that the barracks we inherited, scattered all over Dublin, should have become obsolete when horse drawn gun carriages went out and that it would be far better if we were to have only two or three barracks, better manned, rather than having our small forces deployed in so many areas?

(Limerick West): That matter is under review. It is being considered by the Defence Review Committee whom I set up some time ago and who I hope will report shortly.

Can the Minister tell us what preliminary studies have been carried out so as to preserve anything of historic significance at Griffith Barracks?

(Limerick West): Dublin Corporation usually make such orders and we comply with those orders.

Would it be a condition of sale?

(Limerick West): If such an order is in place, I am sure it would be a condition of sale.