Written Answers. - Heritage Council.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

419 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands if her attention has been drawn to the fact that in 1998 Dúchas purchased a computerised stone cutting machine for £76,000 and it has rarely been used since; if the assurances given by Dúchas to Deputy McGuinness last July will be acted on and a proper training programme arranged for staff; the reason this machine was left unused for so long; the reason the staff remain untrained after three years; and if concern has been expressed by management within Dúchas regarding this matter. [27915/01]

I reject the Deputy's assertion that the computerised stone cutting machine to which he refers has been rarely used since its purchase in 1998. This machine is in frequent use. While the machine has an additional feature that allows the cutting of stone profiles through computer aided design, CAD, this feature is not needed for the current stone-cutting works projects and, therefore, the training of staff to use the required software is not a priority, given the many other pressing demands in the works area.