The Minister at the time of the 1989 and 1993 sales had a statutory function in approving the sale of health board lands. However, since the coming into force of the Health Amendment Act 1996, the Minister has no longer such a role.
With regard to the sale of hospital lands in Ardee, on 16 August 1988 the North Eastern Health Board agreed to sell its farm at Curraghbeg Ardee to Anglo Irish Beef Packers Limited (AIBP) FOR £225,000. AIBP had promised to site an industry there, creating a significant number of jobs. A clause in the contract stated that the land would revert to the North Eastern Health Board at the same price should AIBP not proceed with their project within a certain time scale.
AIBP did not proceed with the project and the NEHB re-purchased the farm for the same price.
Subsequently, in May 1993, 112 acres were offered for sale by public auction and sold for £297,000.
In 1999 the remaining 52 acres were sold to the IDA for £550,000 who in turn sold it on to Messrs. Galen Limited for the same price. Both contracts contain a reversion clause.