Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 9 Jul 1991

Vol. 129 No. 15

Temple Bar Area Renewal and Development Bill, 1991: Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

This Bill has seven important purposes: to establish, on a statutory basis, Temple Bar Renewal Limited as the company to approve projects for incentives as provided for in the Finance Act, 1991, and to provide that the company shall lay their decisions on the approval of development proposals before both Houses of the Oireachtas for their information; to establish on a statutory basis Temple Bar Properties Limited as the company to implement the development of Temple Bar on behalf of the Government; to provide that the Minister for Finance may guarantee the borrowings of Temple Bar Properties Limited; to provide that Temple Bar Renewal and Properties Limited will be subject to public service pay guidelines; to provide that tenants in Temple Bar may not assign, sublet or share possession without the prior consent in writing of Temple Bar Properties Limited; to provide for powers of compulsory purchase in the Temple Bar area to Temple Bar Properties Limited; and to provide for the exemption of Temple Bar Properties Limited from stamp duty in relation to the properties they acquire in the Temple Bar area.

These provisions together with the relevant incentives provided in this year's Finance Act are the basis for a major cultural and tourism development in this our capital city of Dublin.

Temple Bar combines a strong cultural heritage, especially from Viking and early Christian times, with a strong modern sense of place. This unique combination make the Temple Bar area ideal for a development that will build on what is already happening there and create a renewed area to attract many people both from Ireland and from abroad to visit, to work in and to live in. In the renewed area the historical traditions will be interpreted in an authentic yet appealing way to mix with the development of the cultural themes already present in Temple Bar especially of theatre, music, film, visual and graphic art and sculpture. The renewed area will overlay this with its bustling character especially of its restaurants and second hand shops. The total mix will have undoubted appeal in generating many extra visitors both Irish and foreign.

In Ireland we export £700 million out of a population of 3.5 million people in tourism revenue while inward revenue from the rest of the world is £1,000 million. There is, therefore, vast potential to accelerate the numbers of tourists, and the revenue arising, coming to Ireland. This is a prime focus of current Government policy.

Ireland offers a unique experience to visitors in terms of heritage and culture and it is the policy of this Government to promote activities which will enhance our environment and extend a wider knowledge of our culture to overseas visitors in particular.

This is the policy that is being pursued in the Temple Bar area. Economic investment by way of tax incentives have been provided in this year's Finance Act, for the reconstruction and refurbishment of buildings in the Temple Bar area.

In this way the area will be a showcase, both nationally and internationally to indicate the great potential for inner city renewal where there is a cohesive plan, supported by Government, city planners and the people from the area itself.

The Temple Bar area has spontaneously become a cultural "village" within the city. There already exists a vibrant intertrading and interdependence among the tenants involving artists, traders, restaurateurs, musicians, business people, publicans and residents. These activities will be nurtured by the Temple Bar companies. Cultural activities which would not in the normal course be fully economically viable, will be supported by subsidised rents.

As a place to visit, Temple Bar is and will continue to be crucially about the people who work and live in it. The success of the renewal of the area is critically dependent on keeping and developing its existing character. The work of Temple Bar Development Council has been a major significance in this process. The Taoiseach and the Government intend that the consultation and involvement of the people of Temple Bar will continue as a key part of the development process.

I want today to dispel a number of myths which Opposition speakers have attempted to promulgate about the Temple Bar development. They have argued that there is something unusual in the Taoiseach's involvement in the project. This is, in fact, perfectly straightforward. The Taoiseach is the leader of the Government and is the Minister with responsibility for cultural affairs. In that capacity he has responsibility, for example, for the National Museum, National Library, National Gallery and the recently opened and widely praised Museum of Modern Art. To ensure that this perfectly straightforward process is clearly seen to work in practice the Bill before us today contains a series of provisions to ensure that the development of the Temple Bar area is, and is seen to be, fully transparent and accountable. The accountability and transparency of the renewal of Temple Bar will be underpinned in particular by the facts that the decisions of Temple Bar Renewal Limited will be laid before the Oireachtas, the borrowings of Temple Bar Properties Limited will be authorised by the Minister for Finance who will inform the Oireachtas of the outcome and the operation of Temple Bar Properties Limited will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General whose report will again come before the Oireachtas.

In this connection, I want to underline that the Minister for Finance, his Department and the Revenue Commissioners will act fully in the normal way in relation to the Temple Bar companies. The role of the Revenue Commissioners is particularly important because it is they and they alone who will decide what specific expenditure qualifies for tax allowances in every case.

I believe these key aspects of the development will provide ample opportunity for all in the Houses of the Oireachtas to be fully satisfied that Temple Bar is being developed as it should be.

Opposition speakers have argued that, in some way, the powers of Dublin Corporation are reduced in the case of Temple Bar. Nothing could be further from the truth. The approach adopted by the Taoiseach and Government to the development of Temple Bar is to provide for a unique three-way development partnership of the local community, Temple Bar Development Council, the local authority, Dublin Corporation, and the central authorities, the Departments of the Taoiseach, the Environment, Communications, Tourism and Transport, Bord Fáilte and FÁS. All are involved in the development process which the Bill underpins. This partnership of local community, local authority and central Government is one which draws together the key actors in development and has widespread constructive application right across the board. The Government and the social partners have used the same approach in the new area based response to unemployment.

I am happy to take this opportunity to wish the new Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alderman Seán Kenny, well for the year ahead. As the Lord Mayor of the day, he will be Chairman of Temple Bar Renewal Limited. I am confident he will oversee a major part of the Temple Bar development in the year before us.

Other myths that the Opposition have attempted to put abroad are that there will be widespread windfall profits in the Temple Bar development, that CIE will lose out in the disposal of the property they own in the area and that there is something unusual in two companies being involved in the Temple Bar renewal.

The reality of the renewal of Temple Bar is that it will be essential that rents be low in many cases. That is the nature of the activities that are the heart of Temple Bar. To the extent that profits are made these will be reinvested by Temple Bar Properties Limited in the overall development. The keynote of the renewal will be small scale and this does not and will not lend itself to major windfall profits.

CIE will be fully compensated for their property holding in Temple Bar. An independent valuer was agreed by CIE for this process. He has made the necessary valuation. It comes to almost £4 million. This will be paid to CIE very shortly after this Bill becomes law.

The need for two companies in developing Temple Bar stems from the need to separate decisions on the activities to benefit from incentives from the implementation of the development. The renewal company will be responsible for the first policy function, the properties company for the implementation function. The companies will operate at arms length. I understand, for example, that directors of the renewal company involved in particular projects will not, as is normal, participate in the discussion of incentive issues in those cases. This will apply to projects coming from the properties company and to any other cases arising.

I trust that what I have said makes clear that the essential development of Temple Bar is one in which significant imagination will be necessary to achieve a development in sympathy with low cost but one which, if successful, will undoubtedly bring many extra visitors to the area, our capital city and ultimately, our beloved country.

I am confident that the Members of this House will make their usual positive contributions on the important provisions before us in this Bill. In that way we can all contribute to the partnership that is at the heart of the renewal and development of this unique and historic area of Temple Bar in the heart of our great capital city.

I welcome the Minister of State to the House. He has been here wearing so many different hats over the past year that he has almost become a permanent fixture but he is always welcome.

I welcome this Bill in principle and indeed in much of its substance but I still have a few small reservations in spite of what the Minister said and in spite of the fact that he has met very fully many of the objections which were raised in the other House.

I do not have to say that Dublin, probably more than any other capital city in Europe, has suffered over the past 30 or 40 years from dereliction, neglect, exploitation and lack of civic leadership. The quays are still in a scandalous state. There is no coherent plan for the redevelopment of the quays. Large parts still constitute ugly eyesores. It is not a part of Dublin of which one could be proud. There are some disturbing questions to be raised about some of the redevelopment proposals and the way they are being carried out.

Parts of St. Stephen's Green still remain as a monument to the ignorance of the fifties and sixties which saw the destruction of what were called worthless gerry built Georgian buildings which were pulled down and replaced by building the fronts of which, in many cases, have not survived 20 or 25 years. So much for the philosophy — if you want to call it that — of the sixties when to be a defender of Dublin's Georgian heritage was branded anti-national. The parts of St. Stephen's Green where irresponsible damage was done remind us of how shortsighted so many of our policies were in this respect.

Large parts of Mountjoy Square are derelict. It must be a matter of astonishment to people who go to Croke Park to see derelict sites instead of a beautiful square which could have been one of the great attractions of Dublin. They have been there not for five years or ten years but in some cases for 20 years. Visitors see large holes in the facade of buildings, buildings which were started and never finished, and the general squalor which surrounds part of that area. North Great George's Street, the home of so many writers, the home of John Dillon the last leader of the Irish Party and the home of one of our eminent Senators today, is a street which cries out for renewal. So many parts of the inner city are crying out for renewal. On the Adjournment some weeks ago I raised the question of the destruction, with the willing connivance of An Bord Pleanála, of a listed building in Kenilworth Square, another example of where the planning processes and procedures and, indeed, the planners themselves, have been active participants in the destruction of our city.

One could travel around Dublin and pick out areas which have suffered over the past number of years from wilful run down, the exploitation of shortsighted developers and the absence of any real civic initiative to put things right. This Bill will not receive a carping or a negative reaction from me. I welcome this Bill wholeheartedly as the sort of thing our civil leaders and Government should be doing.

There has undoubtedly been a change for the better in the public attitude in recent years. We see it in a whole range of areas. We see it in the attitude of young people to the environment, partly I suspect because schools, national schools especially, place great emphasis on the environment, both the natural and built environment. Young people have a much healthier sense of the need to protect what 15 years ago were crank issues; the ozone layer which we did not know about then, the birds, the countryside and the built environment of our town and cities. It would be naive to say that this change in the public attitude is universally accepted. There is still need for constant vigilence to ensure that depredation does not take place.

Over the years we have had great battles in Dublin Corporation between the engineers with their particular view of serving the city and the consequences of having that view implemented. We need people who are a thorn in the side of the officials like Senator Hederman and some of the journalists who have taken up these issues over the years, organisations like An Taisce who have given a lead and are regarded by some people as unreasonable and as cranks. I take a different view. Such people may not always be easy to live with but they have become a prime national asset in focusing attention and keeping the rest of us up to the mark on matters of this sort, even though the officials might take a different view of their activities.

The Government have made three great mistakes with regard to the future of Dublin which will inflict long term damage on the development of Dublin. The first was the shortsighted abolition of the Dublin Transport Authority in 1987 — that was a Fianna Fáil Government and not the present happy arrangement. It was done, I believe, largely because the Government were involved in cost cutting and pruning and this was seen as some new quango which would simply be another layer of semi-State bureaucracy. It was a dreadful mistake. It is very clear that the traffic in Dublin is chaotic. Radical measures need to be taken and at the very least we need an overall co-ordinated transport policy involving rail, bus, roads and ports. That is one mistake which could be remedied if the Government admitted that they were wrong to abolish the Dublin transport committee in 1987.

The second big mistake was the abolition of the Metropolitan Streets Commission. This was an imaginative innovation. It could have given a lead where frankly Dublin Corporation were not leading and where the Department of the Environment were not in a position to lead in the sense of making more habitable and acceptable the streetscape of Dublin. The biggest mistake was referred to by Senator Hederman on the Order of Business this morning and that was the lost opportunity in the so called local government reform Bill which did not confer a tráithnín of extra powers on any of our local authorities.

Frankly, the pious platitude this morning — it was the only one in his speech — from the Minister about the role of Dublin Corporation is not well placed. The corporation and the local authorities have been denied the power and funds which would make it possible for them to play a leading role in the type of renewal activity we all want. If we take these three measures we can see how the Government have hindered the development and emergence of a strong sense of Dublin.

Dublin has lost out over the years because of the failure to create a strong Dublin lobby, which would have its centre in the corporation and which would bring in the chambers of commerce, the trade unions and various groups and be as effective in putting the case of Dublin as groups like the midwestern group who defended their particular interests. I hope that the new corporation, with or without the civic charter, will have as a priority, this sense of bringing together the great deal of goodwill and voluntary and professional expertise which exists in Dublin to put the case of Dublin more strongly in terms of getting its share of the national cake. Dublin, in many ways, is a more deprived region than other areas from which we hear the greatest number of complaints.

The Minister stressed that one of the main objectives of this Bill is to restore the ambience and the elegance of a vital part of our city. It is right that this should be done, but it is also important that it be done right. We do not want to see something emerging which is prissy, dinky, contrived or elitist, something which Temple Bar never was. What we want to see emerging is an authentic part of Dublin city life.

I would remind the House of what Temple Bar was in 1850 and the sort of people who lived there who made this a vital thriving part of Dublin. I have an excellent book, the reproduction of The Dublin Pictorial Guide and Directory of 1850, written by Henry Shaw, which was published recently, and, in fact, it has sadly been remaindered in one of our bookshops. It is a book which I would recommend to anybody who is interested in Dublin. It has the names of those who lived in Temple Bar and what they did in 1850. It gives a flavour of Temple Bar as an authentic part of Dublin. In No. 1 Temple Bar there was Andrew Kelly, a coal factor, in No. 2 Andrew Thompson, the bootmaker, Nos. 3 and 4 were vacant, in No. 5 was John M'Cormick, described as a nailer — I am not sure what that is. Then there was a dairy, a cork cutter, a tobacconist, a trimming shop, two barbers side by side, another dairy, a cabinet maker, a grocer, wine and spirits merchant, a provision dealer, a dispensary, a metal gilder, a soap manufacturer, another bootmaker, a baker, a provision dealer, a bookbinder, a clockmaker, grocery, a lodging house, Mr. Dignam, a cork cutter, a dairy, a provision dealer and another bootmaker. Obviously there was great competition. Upmarket in Nos. 41 and 42 we had Mr. M'Auley who was the hatter to His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, and side by side with him was John Nowlan who was simply an ordinary hatter. Then there was Joseph Baker who was a smith and bell ringer and, finally, there was the spirit stores and grocer. The Temple Bar area in 1850 was not elitist. It was very much part of the authentic, thriving life of Dublin at that time with ordinary people doing ordinary jobs as part of the living city.

I sincerely hope that Temple Bar, when established under this Bill, will be a home for ordinary people doing ordinary work in the ordinary way and part of the living life of this city. We do not want anything which is elitist, yuppie, dinky, prissy or anything like that. We want something that is real.

A number of concerns with the Bill were raised in the other House. One of them was in the area of planning. In the other House, the Minister, when replying, indicated that the full planning regime of Dublin Corporation would apply in the case of Temple Bar. That puts my fears at rest. I use this occasion to make a point which I made previously, that is, the general lack of confidence not in the planning process in Dublin Corporation but in the behaviour of An Bord Pleanála, as regards their accountability, transparency and judgment. It goes deeper than that and I want to put that once more on the record here today.

The question of the transparency of the legislation, the role of the Taoiseach and the fact that in this case the legislation is bypassing what one would expect to be more appropriate to the Departments of the Environment and Finance was raised in the other House. I listened to the Minister and read the other speeches very carefully. I do not see anything odd or wrong in this. It is perhaps unusual, although the Minister gave reasons why it was not unusual. I do not see anything sinister in it and it should not be any great cause of concern to us. We should take it as it is written. The Minister spelled out the range of accounting procedures and devices which are involved in the legislation and I am happy to accept him at his word.

I am somewhat concerned about what he had to say about CIE and the level of compensation. The figures I have would place the amount expended by CIE far greater than £4 million and closer to £12 million. The Minister says there has been an independent evaluation of that. Will he assure us that CIE are happy with the figure?

In welcoming this legislation I pay tribute to Senator Eoin Ryan who did a great deal of the pioneering work for this legislation as Chairman of the Planning Committee of the last Dublin Corporation. It must be gratifying for him to see so much of his work coming to fruition today. I join with the Minister in welcoming Councillor Seán Kenny, the new Lord Mayor of Dublin, who will be chairman of this enterprise when it is set up. I congratulate him on his election. I have known Seán Kenny, who is a Galway man, for a very long time and nobody more deserves the honour of being first citizen of his adopted city. I wish him every success both as Lord Mayor and in his role with regard to Temple Bar. I wish this Bill a speedy passage and hope to see it in operation as soon as possible.

I join with Senator Manning in extending good wishes to Councillor Seán Kenny on his elevation to the position of first citizen of Dublin and wish him every success in his endeavours. I also wish him success as chairperson of one of the companies being established in the Seanad today.

With respect, a Chathaoirligh, I think you gave Senator Manning a lot of latitude in his contribution. Admittedly, it is a Second Stage speech but he roamed into many areas which have no real relevance to the Temple Bar area.

That surely is a matter for the Chair.

We should welcome any discussion on the future of Dublin in the Seanad. I am tempted to reply to some of the things the Senator said but as they are not relevant to the Bill I will let them pass for the moment. No doubt there will be great battles fought in the city council in the weeks and months ahead in relation to many of these issues.

I welcome the Temple Bar Area Renewal and Development Bill. It is an innovative Bill. The Temple Bar project is one of the most exciting and imaginative cultural projects to happen in Dublin for many years. I pay particular tribute to the Taoiseach — if that is in order coming from me — and the Government for their political will in the matter and their willingness to grasp this major opportunity to develop a cultural and recreational centre in the heart of Dublin. There were many reports circulating regarding the future development of the Temple Bar area but there was no political will forthcoming up to the last two or three years. For several years many organisation, groups and individuals recognised that the Temple Bar area was something special and that it should be developed in a very special way. However, nobody was sure of how to proceed. The Government have now put a plan together.

It must be recognised that the initiative came from the many small artistic and cultural groups that had established themselves in the Temple Bar area. If Senator Norris were here I am sure he would stress that point very strongly. There were many plans, reports and proposals brought forward on how to achieve the final objective but there was no agreement on how to proceed. As Lord Mayor of Dublin I had the honour to chair a special Temple Bar development committee set up by the Government to make recommendations for the balanced development of the Temple Bar area and this committee reported in July 1991. The Government are to be commended for the speed with which the recommendations in that report are now being acted upon.

I pay tribute to Senator Eoin Ryan as Chairman of the Planning Committee of Dublin Corporation for the role of the local authority in this project. The Dublin 1991 flagship project is now up and running. I also pay tribute to many of the local organisations in the Temple Bar area such as the Temple Bar Development Council and the Temple Bar 1991 Committee. There are also many institutions who are worthy of praise including Dublin Corporation, Bord Fáilte, FÁS and the civil servants in the Department of the Taoiseach and other Departments including the Departments of the Environment and Tourism, Transport and Communications.

As Senators will be aware, the Temple Bar area is bounded by Dame Street, Anglesea Street, Bedford Row, the Quays and Parliament Street. It is fast becoming one of the trendiest places in town. There is a buzz and an atmosphere there. Art and culture are flourishing; it is what one might term a cosmopolitan place. It is vitally important, however, that this area is promoted in a balanced way.

The aim of this Bill is to develop the area as a major cultural, tourism and recreational centre. Restaurants, recording studios, galleries, discos, pubs, craft activities, theatres, film and recreational centres and, most important of all, a residential content will be encouraged. A real community is being created and enhanced. I agree with Senator Manning that nothing false should be created. This should be a genuine and real community and the Bill will achieve that. The approach outlined by the Minister is right for this area.

The establishment of Temple Bar Renewal Limited as a supervisory body to determine appropriate standards of refurbishment and construction and the setting up of Temple Bar Properties Limited along with the incentives outlined in Chapter 7 of the Finance Act, 1991, will ensure the right type of development. The tax provisions, in particular, including double rent allowance, section 23 relief, 100 per cent allowance in respect of capital expenditure, the offsetting of refurbishment and conservation expenditure against all rental income, are imaginative and unique. They are also very generous. This is a unique urban renewal project. Greater emphasis is being placed on conservation and refurbishment and that is important. A residential content is also being encouraged and, in addition, a new infill development of vacant sites is being facilitated.

This is a good package for the area involved. Of major importance is the fact that this development will be an economic, viable and commercial project. I cannot stress that enough. It is very important. If this is a unique project there will be many lessons to be learned from it. What is important is that we are not creating a white elephant for the future.

The project will be self-financing. A real partnership will be formed between residents and traders based on sound economic values. The great fear when the Temple Bar project was being examined was that art and culture could not pay its way, that massive ongoing Government financial support would be necessary, that it would be a drain on the finances of the State and so on. That is not the case. The project is based on viable economic principles. It would seem, therefore, that art and culture can be viable and economic in a thriving, interdependent community between residents and traders. That is why this project is unique and why this Government package is right. Critics might say, and have said, that the financial incentives are far too generous to private enterprise and private developers. The package is certainly generous but what were the alternatives? The alternatives, as I said, were massive grants and subsidies on an ongoing basis to artistic groups with no economic prospect of profitability whatsoever. This is the best package. The alternative of a drain on the resources of the State, more grants to the Arts Council and so on, would not be tolerated by the taxpayer. Admittedly, grants, subsidies and so on, will be necessary, but the institutions involved in the development of the area must be supported. The basics of the project are right in that economies and a sound trading economy in the area will ensure that the area is economically viable.

It is important that the two companies involved ensure that the development will be alive not only during the day but also at night. One of the major problems with inner city life is that it closes down after 6 p.m. We should ensure that this area is attractive and alive at night time. This is something the companies involved in the promotion of the area should look at.

As a member of the City Council I would like to pay particular tribute to Dublin Corporation for their role in this initiative. I was surprised to hear the Minister say that the fact that Dublin Corporation's powers were being reduced in relation to this project was criticised in the other House. I do not see it that way. Dublin Corporation personnel have been very much involved and supportive of every aspect of this project. The Lord Mayor, for once, has been given recognition by the fact that he or she will now be involved in this project, in something fundamental in his or her city. There is an enhanced role for the Lord Mayor in this project and that is welcome. The corporation are to be congratulated for formulating an action plan for the area. They were working on an action plan for the development of the area long before it became fashionable to support the concept of the Temple Bar area. They have put a great deal of money into the pedestrianisation of streets there, promoting cobble-stone streets and providing traditional street furniture. I welcome their role and hope it will continue in the years ahead.

Everybody here, I am sure, breathed a sigh of relief when they heard that the transportation centre, the CIE bus depot, was not to proceed in this locality. The irony, however, is that if CIE had not been the tenants there for a number of years the new artistic centre could not have been achieved. As many Senators already know, the fact that CIE are letting out premises there to artistic groups at very low rents ensured that an artistic life was created there. Therefore, we should be grateful to CIE. On the other hand, we are delighted they are not proceeding with their transportation centre. As I said earlier, public bodies have a major role to play now that the legislation is in place. Bord Fáilte, in particular, should set about creating a major tourism centre in this locality, thus enhancing in every way the work of those two companies.

I am sure at this stage that the constitutional issues in relation to compulsory acquisition and the powers of the two companies involved have been dealt with. However, I would like reassurance from the Minister that the so-called rights to private property in the Constitution will not be interfered with in any way and that there can be no constitutional challenges in the future.

We need to examine how best the Temple Bar area should be developed in the future. There is no doubt the Temple Bar area should be developed and enhanced as a cultural, tourism and recreation centre. Overall, the development should operate on a commercial basis. The streetscape and building pattern of the Temple Bar area should be conserved. The buildings must also be conserved and refurbished. That is what makes this project unique. Traditionally, when dealing with inner city renewal and rejuvenation, we dealt with the demolition of buildings and the construction of new buildings. This package and that announced in the Finance Act are very sensitive and I have no doubt will ensure that those buildings are conserved. The existing buildings should be retained and sensitively refurbished.

There are also some vacant sites in the locality and infill development is necessary but that, too is dealt with in the Finance Act and in the establishment of the two companies. Of vital importance also is the need to ensure a residential content, the need to ensure an active, living community in the locality. The package announced will ensure that but it should be kept constantly under review. People are now willing to move back into the centre city area but this must be encouraged and if the measures announced do not facilitate that, they should be reviewed. However, I am confident that the residential nature of this project will be encouraged and enhanced. Existing tenants in the area should also be encouraged, consulted and should have a major role to play in the development of the area.

This is a very exciting and unique project and I wish it every success. I am delighted the Government have had the political will to get the project up and running. They have consulted widely and there were many reports to consult. The best of all possible recommendations have been brought together in legislation and have been given priority by the Government. I have no doubt that this project will be exciting and successful and I wish everybody involved every success in the years ahead.

I have great pleasure in welcoming the general thrust of this Bill as somebody who has long been interested in the city of Dublin, the conservation of its best features and the promotion of the idea of the living city. My residents' association in Upper Leeson Street started about 23 or 24 years ago, and I am very heartened that that thrust of the idea of the living city is now gaining considerable momentum and that we are here today to talk about some aspects of it; part of what we are talking about is the idea of the living city.

It is interesting to note that the area we are talking about appears on the back of our £10 note. It shows the very old historic part of the city we are talking about, 17th Century, with the street patterns relatively the same as they were. During medieval times, during the Viking and Georgian period this part of the city was probably relatively unknown. I was very impressed with Senator Manning's reference to the various inhabitants of that area and their activites. It gave a clear picture of the sort of bustling mixed activities that took place there. I had not thought of referring to that book, which indeed I have, and which gives one great amusement and entertainment. I remember speaking to the proprietor of Read and Company Ltd., Cutlers, a shop in Parliament Street which is still there; although Mr. Read is still alive he is no longer running it. When I was Lord Mayor, I visited him and he gave me a vivid description, very much borne out by Senator Manning's contribution, of the life he remembered 30 or 40 years ago in Parliament Street. He rattled off to me what each shop and house was used for. He described a sunny day when those who lived on the upper floors would come down to sit outside and women would do their knitting, children would play around on the footpaths and so on. We are talking about an area that had a very exciting, bustling and busy life. It is also an area which has a tremendous architectural wealth of interesting and varied buildings.

Why has the area changed so much? I totally disagree with Senator Haughey, my esteemed colleague on the council and here, that Senator Manning's contribution was not relevant. Senator Manning's contribution dealt with the nub of the problems. Why are we now trying to attract people back to this area? Why did they leave in the first place? Why did the residents of that part of the city and other areas of the city centre depart to outer suburbia? He mentioned some of them and I will mention others. I urge Senator Haughey to consider these points because they are absolutely relevant to the way this city has developed and will develop. We cannot take in isolation the Temple Bar area and try to attract the residents back there unless we consider their reason for leaving in the first place.

One of the things which has undoubtedly militated against the centre of the city has been the policies adopted. I disagree with Senator Manning on some aspects; I am not sure whether in this instance he blamed Dublin Corporation. Dublin Corporation cannot be blamed for many of those policies because they were Government policies. Government incentives and tax policies encouraged people to go out into green field sites of suburbia and build there. There were considerable tax incentives and benefits to build new factories and houses outside the city. There was nothing, there is still very little but it is improving, to encourage people to stay in the city, to refurbish in the city. Everything was loaded to encourage people to the outer suburbs. To a large extent we have what is called in America the doughnut syndrome. We have an empty centre with people living all around it. That is undoubtedly part of the problem, that there are so few residents in the Temple Bar area, although other areas have suffered greater, and we are now trying to attract them back. It was a milestone in this city when, to my knowledge, the first Catholic church, St. Michael's and John's, closed in the inner city. Sadly, many of the Church of Ireland churches and the Presbyterian Churches and so on, closed in the inner city. I believe the first bell which rang out after Catholic emancipation, was St. Michael's and John's church. It was an historic church, it had a huge congregation and it is now closed and is being sold. I do not know what it will be used for but I hope that one day it may once again be a church for the population living in the city. We are heading in that direction and I give credit to the Government for the small progress they have made in encouraging, with their tax incentives, development in the inner city, but much remains to be done.

I put a question to the city manager some months ago with regard to the number of projects that had been undertaken in the incentive areas. I think the figure was something like 33 or 44 residential units actually going ahead in those areas. If Senator Ryan can remember the exact figure, I hope he will give it. We should not delude ourselves into thinking that there is a massive rush back into the city. People, particularly young people, want to live in the city, but they are still finding it very difficult. Those who own residential property in the centre of the city are still finding the burden of maintaining it extremely difficult. Unless that area is looked at more generously we will not achieve what I believe many of us here want.

Senator Manning spoke about the roads policy. I have no doubt that is a major contributing factor, along with those I have already mentioned. Here I must blame Dublin Corporation although they have been aided and abetted by the Fianna Fáil Party and the Fianna Fáil Government most enthusiastically down through the years. I do not wish to be party political. I have no party affiliation and I am totally apolitical. I try to look at issues so that we can improve the situation and not in a spirit of being party political or controversial. I would not bother to mention the policies of Dublin Corporation in the matter except that they are still being pursued. The Government are enthusiastic about many of them and the Fianna Fáil Party on the city council are doggedly determined that many of those policies will continue. The greatest contributory factor to the destruction of this city has not been the dreaded private unscrupulous developer — they have done bad things and Senator Manning mentioned some of them — it has been Dublin Corporation's roads policy. They have done more to destroy this city than all the developers put together. I am ashamed to say that, as somebody who has been 17 years on the council. However, I have a lightness in my step today and I am much more good-humoured than usual because we now have that civic charter which Senator Hanafin wanted us to tear up and put in a waste basket. This charter will mean there will a change in the unsuccessful policies we have been pursuing to date. I will remind the House of a few of them.

The Grand Canal, this beautiful waterway which we all appreciate, would be gone if we had allowed the Schaecterle plan to go through. Travers-Morgan wanted to put a massive high crossing over the Liffey. All the policies of the corporation have dragged the Liffey quays down and they are the frontispiece of this city. The area we are talking about today which is on the rear of the £10 note, fronts on to the Liffey quays and I invite the House to look at the state of the area today. The corporation wanted to widen 17 different stretches along the quays. When the 1980 plan was being adopted I begged them to drop those road proposals. I was told that there were no road proposals, that I was misleading the council, there were only going to be setbacks. Of course, that means that when the whole place is decayed and buildings have fallen they are not rebuilt on the line, but further back. Thank goodness, most of those proposals have gone but a great deal of damage has already been done. I object to the proposal for one or two multistorey car parks in this scheme and I will be putting down an amendment to it.

I appreciate that the Government decided to do away with the CIE depot on that site which action has allowed this Temple Bar area to develop. I beg the Minister not to think of these as irrelevancies. I believe that this whole Temple Bar project should be in the hands of the local authority. Every time we meet in this House Senators scramble to get debates on important issues like agriculture, the economy, foreign affairs, and so on but there is never time. Why not? Because this House and the other House spend so much of their time doing work which should not be within their remit, work which should be done by the local authority, in this instance Dublin Corporation, the major local authority in the country. The Minister will probably say it was because they did not do it that the Government and the Taoiseach had to step in and take over. This Government and previous Governments, I am not suggesting it is only the Fianna Fáil Party, have been remiss down the years because they have never brought in legislation dealing with local democracy and since then it has gone steadily in the opposite direction. When Senator Manning said the local government Bill which was introduced recently did not give one tráithin of extra powers to local authorities, he was absolutely right. In fact, it is still my contention that things are still going in the wrong direction.

Let us remember the ultra vires rule which has impeded local authorities from carrying out the sort of development work and setting up the kind of development companies envisaged. I have no problem with that. What I am saying is that the local authority should have been able to do this but they were not and the ultra vires rule has not yet been abolished. I believe it is due to be abolished on 1 August and nobody welcomes that more than I. There is some progress in the Bill but there is so much going in the opposite direction that I am not sure whether we are making progress or going backwards.

The Government, the Taoiseach or the Departments should not be involved in the development of this area. It should be done by the local authority. Why does the Taoiseach have to be the sole shareholder? Why could it not have been the Lord Mayor of Dublin or the Taoiseach and the Lord Mayor of Dublin or the Taoiseach and the city manager? The local authority would then have some input but no, it has to be the Taoiseach who is the sole shareholder. I am sure the city manager will be very touched this afternoon when Senator Ryan tells him I was urging that he should be a shareholder in this development.

I have to take issue with the Minister where he says there is nothing unusual in the Taoiseach's involvement in this process because the Taoiseach is the Minister with responsibility for cultural affairs and he is responsible, therefore, for the National Museum, the National Library, the National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. With the greatest respect to the Minister, he could not have given worse examples. It seems from what the Minister is saying that he wants Temple Bar turned into another museum, a museum for the tourists. That is the very thing we do not want.

I have the highest regard for the Taoiseach's love, interest and sensitivity in cultural matters and in his ministerial capacity he has done a marvellous job in the Museum of Modern Art, but the best job of all — which I had the great privilege of being allowed to see last Saturday week — is what is commonly known as "Charlie's Palace", the wonderful buildings in Merrion Street which are exquisite. If they get the opportunity, everybody should see them. I have no doubt that nothing but the best is good enough for the Taoiseach and I commend him for that.

However, that is not what we want in Temple Bar. We do not want another museum or anything comparable to those the Minister mentioned. We want a vibrant part of the city where people can bustle around. That is the reason the Taoiseach should not be the sole shareholder. The local authority should be in charge.

I should like to compliment Senator Haughey in his capacity as Lord Mayor, his successor and Senator Ryan, in his capacity as Chairman of the Planning Committee, for the way they worked, to move this project along. I have a list of the various organisations represented on the board of the Temple Bar. The Lord Mayor is on that board but he is the only democratic representative of city government. There is nobody else on the board, unless the membership has changed since I was given these lists. There are two representatives from Dublin Corporation.

That is a sad state of affairs. If it cannot be left entirely to the local authority there should be a large representation of the city government on those various boards. I feel particularly sorry for the corporation officials, who eight or ten years ago were talking about the Temple Bar area and were interested in it, because of the extent to which Dublin Corporation has been cut out. The project will be a flagship for the Dublin year of Culture and it will be successful and the Government and the Taoiseach will take credit for it. That genuinely militates against our excellent officials, particularly the younger people in the planning department, who have been working on this project. For them it is disheartening to be used. The corporation will be in charge of the work, they will have to lay the cobblestones, and they will be in charge of the street pattern.

Except for the Lord Mayor the elected representatives of the people of Dublin on the City Council have no say. One of the reasons we have introduced the civic charter is to try to give some heart to the many good people in the corporation who see everything that is good and successful immediately being taken over by somebody else. The same applied to the lottery. We came up with the idea of a national lottery, we presented it and the next thing we knew it was taken out of our hands. If all this responsibility was handed over to a good local authority and they were allowed to get on with the job, the Minister would be free to deal with much more important matters.

I am totally opposed to the idea of multi-storey car parks. The whole thrust of the policy now must be to discourage motor cars coming into the city. I know we have built massive roads but unless we are prepared to destroy what is left of the city we must not encourage more cars to come into the city. We must bring people into the city by providing a good public transport system for commuters and shoppers. I do not disagree with providing short term shopping facilities. Bord Fáilte strongly recommended that the entire Temple Bar area should be pedestrianised but the Minister may consider that is too dramatic or too way out. The Taoiseach was quoted on one occasion as saying "we will never entice the people out of their motor cars" but if we must have some cars in the area I suggest that we allow taxis and I would urge that we allow cyclists into the area. I will be strongly objecting to car parks and will put down an amendment to that effect.

I have already mentioned the composition of the committees. They are the only remarks I wish to make at the moment. I would like to end on a positive note. In spite of all the reservations I have enunciated all of which I feel most strongly about — I regret the way this project has moved forward — I hope nevertheless that it will be successful. I hope above all that it will not end up as a showpiece to make us look good to our European friends when they come here. I honestly hope that the vitality which, as Senator Manning mentioned, existed 100 or 120 years ago will be renewed in the area.

The Temple Bar Area Renewal and Development Bill, 1991, will establish on a statutory basis the company, Temple Bar Renewal Limited whose essential functions will be to decide which development policies will benefit from the incentives provided under the Finance Act, 1991. The new Bill will also establish Temple Bar Properties Limited as the company which will implement the development of this area on behalf of the Government. This company will operate as a limited company whose sole shareholder, through his nominee, is the Taoiseach as he is the member of the Government with responsibility for culture.

As 1991 is Dublin's year as European City of Culture it is most fitting that this exciting development will become a Government flagship project. As a Dubliner, I am most proud to see the revitalisation of an old and well established part of the city buzzing with the hum of activity and atmosphere which natives and visitors alike can share. No one can deny the historic character of the streets and buildings in the area. It is little wonder that many people are now referring to Temple Bar as Dublin's left bank — the Lord Mayor, in his outgoing speech last night, said it is Dublin's Temple Bar.

Already well established is a thriving community of artists, traders, publicans, musicians, people in the food trade and, last but not least, those already living in the area. The new companies intend to attract a host of new businesses, including a recording studio, a film centre, craft and speciality shops, workshops, art galleries, theatres and a large variety of other shops and markets. Residential units for students and others who may wish to live in the Temple Bar area will also be a feature. The restoration of Temple Bar will be concentrated on various aspects including cobblestones, lamp standards and sculptures. Also included will be a buskers and speakers corner, a weekend market and wood-panelled shop exteriors. These will further contribute to the Bohemian character of this district.

Employment, both new and existing, should not be underestimated or undervalued. Temple Bar can have significant job creating potential, particularly for our young people who have so much to contribute to such a vibrant enterprise. Approximately 500 people are currently employed in small existing endeavours in this area. However, we hope to reach a target of nearly 3,000 within three years. The EC, through the European Commission pilot project for the Temple Bar area under the auspices of the European Regional Development Fund, has provided funding of £3.6 million, representing 50 per cent of the total cost. In addition, the European Investment Bank have agreed to provide a loan of £5 million to assist in the first phase of development and to favourably consider further loans.

Temple Bar Properties Limited will acquire other key properties in the area needed for the development plan on the basis of an independent valuation. Some of these will be acquired from among properties currently owned by CIE and Dublin Corporation. Temple Bar Properties Limited will be treated as any other commercial State company. The company's accounts will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the company can also be added to the remit of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on State-Sponsored Bodies. The company, Temple Bar Renewal Limited, will be required to place its decisions before both Houses of the Oireachtas for their information under the conditions of the new Bill. It is essential that Temple Bar Properties Limited and Temple Bar Renewal Limited co-operate closely, and to facilitate this they both share a number of common directors. Temple Bar Properties Limited will also be required to provide details of their operations to the Minister for Finance as the Minister will give a State guarantee for the company's borrowings up to £25 million.

As has been said, several tax reliefs have been implemented in the Temple Bar area, including double rent allowances, industrial building allowances, section 23 allowances for residential accommodation and an owner-occupier allowance for private residents. A new special 100 per cent capital allowance is being given to refurbish existing old buildings which will cover the cost of the restoration work plus either the cost of the purchase price of the building or its value at 1 January 1991, if the amount spent on restoration exceeds the purchase cost. This tax benefit has come under much criticism from Members of the Opposition. However, it must be emphasised that to ensure good development and the success of such a large scale undertaking the conditions must be as attractive as possible to potential developers.

Other requirements of the Bill are that tenants may not sublet, assign or share possession of the properties without written permission from Temple Bar Properties Limited; Temple Bar Properties Limited will not be liable for any stamp duty regarding premises they will acquire in Temple Bar; compulsory orders will be allowed to Temple Bar Properties Limited, under the new Bill and employees of Temple Bar Properties Limited and Temple Bar Renewal Limited will be governed by public pay guidelines. It seems very fitting that the redevelopment of the Temple Bar area should progress with great strides in 1991 in keeping with our plans for Dublin as European City of Culture.

The establishment of a Viking adventure in the building known as St. Michael and John's of Fishamble Street will now have greater historic significance as it is located beside Wood Quay. The restored area of Temple Bar with its ambience of arts, culture and heritage will encapsulate the very essence of Dublin and her people. Apart from the extra jobs and the increased revenue generated by additional tourism, we will also be leaving behind a legacy of immense cultural value for future generations which should endure the test of time. It will ensure a vibrant heart in our city which will pump new blood into the core of Temple Bar and its surrounding area. No one, I am sure not even my colleagues on the Opposition benches, can put a value on the benefits of this enterprising project.

Finally, as a member of Dublin Corporation I would like to congratulate the elected members and officials of Dublin Corporation for their co-operation in this project. As Senator Haughey said, Dublin Corporation had an action plan for this area long before it was fashionable. As a Dubliner, I wish this project well. I know it will be successful.

I, too, congratulate Seán Kenny on being elected Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin. I have known Seán since 1985 when I was first elected to the city council. I have always found him to be a very fine, hard working councillor and I have no doubt that he will continue that work as Lord Mayor of Dublin.

I congratulate the Taoiseach and the Government on this Bill. The Minister said that the reason the Taoiseach is taking such a personal interest in this matter is that he has responsibility for cultural affairs. In 1985 I was involved in a group called the Irish Visual Arts Foundation who ran an art exhibition in Temple Bar Studios, and we asked the Taoiseach who was Leader of the Opposition at the time, if he would open the exhibition. Like many other people I also had a great interest in the Temple Bar area. The people involved in the Temple Bar Studios and others involved in business asked me at the time if, when the Taoiseach was there, they could bring him aside and talk to him about the importance of the Temple Bar area. The Taoiseach met these people for about 20 minutes or half an hour and they made a very good case for the historical importance of Temple Bar. They asked the Taoiseach to take a personal interest in the area, and he has done that since. He should be congratulated for taking a personal interest in the Temple Bar area. I have no doubt that if he did not take such an interest in it we would not see this very fine Bill before us today.

I congratulate the corporation planners for putting forward the original plan for the area. That was very important and was one of the major forces behind this Bill. I thank those people who mentioned me and, of course, I thank and congratulate the Planning Committee of Dublin Corporation for all the work they have put into the project. Senator Hederman has done great work in this regard. She and the residents association in her area have highlighted the problems in other areas of the city over many years. Mistakes have been made in the past, and we should recognise that. Senator Hederman has highlighted those mistakes in the long term interests of the city.

I could come back to a point made by Senator Hederman earlier. She mentioned the reason people left the city centre, but I do not believe it is as simple as she makes it out to be. One of the main reasons people left Dublin's inner city was that they were living in the most appalling slums — Dublin had the worst slums in Europe. The local authority and Government had an obligation to improve housing and one of the ways they did so was by moving people to the outskirts of the city. Maybe that was a mistake but the idea behind it was a good one, namely to improve peoples' living conditions. Senator Hederman also mentioned that there was no rush back into the city, and that is true. She put a question to the city manager in this regard and I was surprised to hear the number of apartments which had been built or were in the planning stage. However, that trend is changing and I think we will see a significant increase in the next 18 months in the number of people living in Dublin's inner city.

There are various reasons for this. The financial incentives which were recently announced will be a major factor, as will the civic charter which was introduced last night. The Fianna Fáil group and some other groups, unfortunately, did not see that civic charter until last night and even then, I gather, we did not see the completed form. However, I saw it this morning. I regret that we, as the largest group in the city council, were not asked to examine that civic charter. On reading it this morning there was only one thing in it I could possibly disagree with. We were not the only group who did not see the charter in advance. Deputy Tony Gregory was also excluded for some strange reason. A man who represents Dublin's inner city, who got 4,000 first preference votes was excluded, as an Independent, from that civic charter, and I cannot understand the reason. Obviously there were petty political grounds for excluding him.

Other projects which we are undertaking to entice people to live in the inner city include the "living-over-the-shop" project into which Dublin Corporation, the chamber of commerce and I have put a lot of work. We have received a report on that project and I have no doubt that Dublin Corporation, as the local authority in the area, and the Department of the Environment will work together to get the "living-over-the shop" project up and running in Dublin. There is a huge percentage of areas in the city that are not occupied from the first floor up, and if we want to ensure that people go back to live in old buildings in these areas we should proceed with that project.

There is a major parking problem in Temple Bar. I am on the board of the Olympia Theatre and I regularly use the facilities in Temple Bar at night time, the restaurants, etc. There is a huge problem there at the moment with people parking on the pavements and all over the place. I agree with Senator Hederman about parking facilities in the city centre. I have very often voted against multistorey car parks in Dublin city centre except on specific occasions when I believe they are necessary, and this is one of the times I believe that is so. Maybe Senator Hederman has reasons which she will state later as to why there should not be a car park in the area. If we are going to pedestrianise all of Temple Bar or if we are going to allow cyclists only and maybe taxis use the area, which I think is a good idea — commuters should be excluded — we must provide car parking facilities. I await to hear the reason that Senator Hederman opposes a car park in the area.

Temple Bar area is obviously of great historical importance to the city of Dublin. As somebody said to me a number of years ago, from the back of the Central Bank all the way up to Christchurch there is practically a thousand years of history. There are very few places where that is the case. We are lucky that Temple Bar has been left almost intact.

The tourist potential of Temple Bar is immense. As far as tourism is concerned, Dublin has been described as a 24 hour city. Basically, you can see everything in 24 or 36 hours. We must get people to stay longer if we are to increase the tourism spin-off for the city and tackle our unemployment problem. We need a Dublin lobby, as Senator Manning has said. During his term of office as Lord Mayor, Senator Haughey set up a special working group on the economy of Dublin which included the chamber of commerce, the trade union movement, the IDA and various other groups. That was a very imaginative idea which has been taken a step further by the last Lord Mayor, Michael Donnelly. I have no doubt that the group will lobby very strongly and will emphasise the problems mentioned by Senator Manning earlier. We have a huge unemployment problem and we do not shout about it enough as do other areas with a similar problem. I hope, and I have no doubt that the new Lord Mayor, Sean Kenny, will work with these groups to try to create jobs for the citizens of Dublin. In that way we can tackle the worst problem facing us at the moment, which is unemployment.

It is thanks to CIE that the unique character of the Temple Bar area remains intact. CIE did not develop the area and that is the only reason it remains completely intact. We should be thankful for that.

The principal objectives and policies for the plan put forward by the corporation are very important. They are: to conserve the streetscape and to retain, through refurbishment, as many of the existing buildings as is practical in preference to redevelopment; to continue the multi-use function of the area with particular emphasis on cultural, recreational and residential functions; to provide a new east-west pedestrian corridor and to pedestrianise the streets in the immediate vicinity; to preserve existing stone sets and to provide street furniture. If that is done, we get rid of the only car park facility in the Temple Bar area, and that brings me back to the point made by Senator Hederman about not having car parking facilities in the area. If we develop that area there will be a major lack of car parking facilities. As I said earlier, I am on the board of the Olympia Theatre, and if that area is developed the theatre will lose its car parking facilities, thus causing problems for many people. We may not like it, but that is the reality.

The other objectives are to encourage and facilitate the use of upper floors for residential use, to expand residential use in the area, to have the cleared sites in the area at present used for long term contract car parking redeveloped, to investigate the feasibility of off-street long term car parking, to provide a multistorey car park to serve the area; shop fronts to be of traditional design and metal roller shutters will not be acceptable. It is proposed that the entire area be designated the Temple Bar conservation area, the interiors to be listed for protection in the development plan. That has been done. We listed a large number of buildings in the area, even though certain people at the time in the Planning Department were not very enthusiastic.

I welcome the whole Temple Bar plan. This is an excellent Bill. I have no doubt that Temple Bar will now develop as it should. It is particularly important that the rents be kept low because there are many businesses in that area, as has already been explained, that are not commercially viable but they are attractive for tourists and others including the people in the area who obviously should be able to make a living from the area. We must try to keep the Bohemian, unique character of the area. I am delighted the rents will be kept low, that the new body will see to it that the unique character will be retained and that the people who have been working in the area for many years will be let stay there and develop their businesses as they see fit in the coming years.

Once again, I congratulate the Government, the Taoiseach and also Senator Haughey who got the project up and running when he was Lord Mayor. I hope the Temple Bar area will go from strength to strength in the coming years.

I welcome development in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. I am from Mayo but I have spent about half of my working week in this city for a large number of years and I know the area particularly well, moving up and down from Heuston Station. It has been an almost derelict part of Dublin, but embraces a great deal of the history of the inner city. It is certainly most imaginative to undertake this type of development in the heart of the city.

I read some of the Dáil speeches on this Bill. I read with interest the speech of Deputy Gerard Brady who gave his views on the Wood Quay development. When driving or taking a taxi or bus up the quays the more I look at the corporation building there the more appalled I become. That was an absolutely catastrophic development and I hope that in this age, which is a little more enlightened environmentally, people will make certain that there will be no development undertaken in the Temple Bar area to compete with that barbarity. Some people, even on this side of the House, took exception to the Taoiseach moving this Bill, but I do not share their views. The Taoiseach has specific political accountability for this area and if he should decide to become involved and to take an initiative in this area I take no exception whatever to that.

Just as I am very interested in what is happening in the heart of the city of Dublin, as somebody who knows the city very well, I am also very interested in the Gaeltacht. I would like to see the Taoiseach, in his capacity as Minister for the Gaeltacht, making the same personal intervention into Gaeltacht activities as he has done in the case of Temple Bar, but politically he has not chosen to do that. A personal input by him in many Gaeltacht issues would be appreciated. There is a huge lack of funding in that area.

Senator Ryan spoke about the inner city and said we had the worst slums in Europe, similar to those at the time of the First World War when people were living in the most appalling circumstances, for example, as dramatically portrayed by Sean O'Casey in his plays. I agree with Senator Ryan that, of course, there was a very compelling case to move people out of these slums, but I would take issue with him in relation to the policies adopted in that regard. The people had to be moved out of the houses they were in, but there was no reason new houses could not be built in the next street to house them in the inner city where they had traditionally come from and where they would be much happier. I compliment Dublin Corporation on their sensitive approach in recent years in regard to housing. When we look back historically at what happened 30 or 40 years ago it was a case of from the frying pan into the fire to move the people out of the inner city into Ballymun-type complexes which were as barbaric in terms of housing development as was the Wood Quay development to which I have referred.

Part II of the Bill which deals with Temple Bar Renewal Limited states in section 3: "Notwithstanding any provision of the Companies Acts, 1963 to 1990, the Taoiseach shall appoint the directors of Temple Bar Renewal Limited." There is a little bit of absolute power implied in this. It would be much more appropriate if it was agreed that notwithstanding any provision of the Companies Acts the Taoiseach, in consultation with Dublin City Council, shall appoint the directors of Temple Bar Renewal Limited. That would be a more democratic and more sensitive approach to this issue.

I have listened with interest to the comments of my Dublin colleagues in the Seanad on aspects of the Temple Bar development, transportation and adequate car parking. I am a constant traveller to Dublin by train — I am probably Iarnród Éireann's best passenger on the Westport-Heuston line. Heuston station is a very fine building and the people working there are very competent but this seems to be one of the very few cities in Europe in which the central station is not in the heart of the city. In Brussels, Paris, Munich or any other city in continental Europe in 99 per cent of cases the main train station is in the heart of the city. Thus, passengers are able to walk to the station which is most satisfactory. In this city we are based here in the Houses of the Oireachtas — this is effectively the centre of the city — and if you want to be certain of getting a train at Heuston you would have to leave about an hour prior to the scheduled time. That is highly unsatisfactory, uneconomic and ineffective. Given that the Temple Bar region is midway between this part of the city of Dublin and Heuston Station there is a very compelling case for a rapid transit system from these two points, embracing the Temple Bar area. It would facilitate the Temple Bar area and bring people from other parts of the city to that area by such a system, linking it with Heuston Station. I am taking a little latitude here as this matter is peripheral to the main issue.

For years the Ormond Hotel has been owned by a Westport family. I have known it for years and I know the background. This part of the quays is very derelict and the development of the inner city area to bring it into the mainstream of cultural, social and tourist activity in Dublin is imaginative and welcome and has my support.

I welcome this Bill this afternoon. It is a great idea and I congratulate the Taoiseach, the Government, former Lord Mayors, people going out of office and those coming into a new term on the corporation who played an active part in producing this Bill and for the speed with which it has been brought before us. I could not agree more with the Minister when he says that it is another tourist attraction for Dublin considering all the activities proposed for the area.

As someone who comes in from the country and passes the Temple Bar area every day, in my contributions over the last number of years I have been commenting on the poor architectural and structural standard of the quays. Over the last 18 months it has been a pleasure to see new buildings and projects starting on the quays giving it a facelift. Over the last seven or eight years Grafton Street has been pedestrianised and the streets adjacent to Grafton Street around the area of the Westbury Hotel have benefited from fabulous facilities being provided by private enterprise; it is exciting and heartening to see an extension of this activity on the quays.

I agree with Senator Staunton's remarks on traffic access to the Temple Bar area and the quays generally; for large numbers of people use the quays when heading to the west, the midlands and the north-west. I look forward to the speedy development of this area. There are many projects on that side of the town, such as the Custom House Docks site development; but on the other side of town, north of the Liffey, it is a very different story. Mountjoy Square and North Great George's Street contain fabulous buildings ready to be put to the use originally intended for them. The practice of housing people in four and five storey flats nowadays is unacceptable and brings with it many dangers, temptations and potential exploitation and unemployment. Everything that is bad for society is happening in that part of our city.

While the Government have to be congratulated on what is happening around the Temple Bar area, the Grafton Street area and the Custom House Docks site, I look forward to the day when we may offer proper housing to the people of those disgraceful four and five storey flats.

I wish Seán Kenny the new Lord Mayor well and I am glad he will have a role to play as chairman of one of the committees in this particular project. I welcome the Bill and look forward to the speedy start of development there.

I would like to sincerely thank the many Senators who have made very fine contributions to this Bill. I welcome all their positive contributions because this is a unique, special and important Bill. I thank Senator Manning for his acceptance that many of the points previously made by his colleagues in the Dáil on the role of our present Taoiseach pertaining to this Bill are, in fact, the myths which I suggested they were in my earlier remarks.

However, I cannot subscribe to Senator Manning's views on what he terms the failures attaching to Fianna Fáil in Government in relation to the development of the city of Dublin. In Government we have supported positive initiatives which would achieve progress. Our record shows that under this Taoiseach there has been no support for talking shops. In Government since 1987 at least we have pioneered the process of involving those implicated in decisions in the making of those decisions. The greatest example of this is the process of dialogue in consensus with our social partners on behalf of the nation. I find Senator Manning's views on our involvement with both the trade unions and the other social partners in the development of Dublin strangely at odds with his party leader's views on both the Programme for National Recovery and the Programme for Economic and Social Progress. Does this mark a change of heart in Fine Gael's policy towards those programmes?

Senator Manning also stated that under Fianna Fáil there was an absence of initiatives to put things right, which is not true. There are other designated areas in our inner city, for example, which would qualify for significant tax relief. Arising out of the interest and involvement of Senator Norris, section 4 of the Finance Act, 1989, provides tax relief for up to 50 per cent of the cost of expenditure on the restoration of buildings of historical and cultural value.

I would like to give the House some facts on our commitment to city renewal and revitalisation and refute Senator Hederman's allegation that nothing is happening in Dublin. By 31 March this year we had completed 47 projects at a total cost of £30.14 million, we have 19 projects in progress at a total cost of £41.09 million and 80 projects at the planning stage which are of a value of circa £150 million. The urban renewal scheme in Dublin is progressing very satisfactorily. In the entire Dublin designated area 513,000 square feet of property have been completed with 570,000 square feet in progress and 2.3 million square feet at planning stage.

Dublin Corporation's planning records show that between 1975 and 1986 no development took place on the quays during the 12 years in which Fianna Fáil were absent from Government. Since the introduction of the urban renewal scheme, projects totalling over £114 million are in planning, in progress or have been completed on the quays. I find it strange that the suggestion was made here today that, if Fianna Fáil were in Government or in control of the corporation something might go amiss as we do not understand culture, history, or development. This view has been circulating over the last few weeks and again here today, and I cannot understand it because we stand on our record.

I can assure Senator Haughey that the Temple Bar companies will have the issue of activity right through the day and night as a part of their remit which is essential for the most economically viable development of the area. In another part of the Senator's excellent contribution to which I fully subscribe, his point on the constitutionality of compulsory purchase orders and other provisions is taken. The relevant provisions have been drafted precisely from that viewpoint; of particular note is the provision in section 12 (2) (a) of the Bill that even when a property is acquired the liability to pay compensation remains which is fair and equitable. CIE are being compensated at market value and they participated fully in the valuation process.

Senator Haughey spoke of the residential nature of the development. A principal focus of the tax incentive package in Chapter 7 of the Finance Act, 1991, is the encouragement of residential occupation in the Temple Bar area. This has been achieved by the availability of first, personal tax allowances for residential owner occupiers and second, section 23 tax reliefs for rented accommodation. These are two very welcome developments in our taxation policy in 1991 which are applicable to this Bill and to this area.

In response to Senator Hederman, I accept that there has not been a vast influx of people returning to the inner city. However, as the impact of the tax reliefs for designated areas grow, the number of people taking up residence in the inner city will also grow. A dramatic illustration of this process is the success of residential developments around the Christchurch area. The Temple Bar package will undoubtedly contribute to this very welcome and continued development. I am glad Senator Hederman recognises the way the Temple Bar tax incentives encourage more residential accommodation in the area. A large residential component is intended in the development particularly of students but also of other people wishing to live in an exciting, reinvigorated inner city area.

I fail to understand the Senator's position on multistorey car parks which are a key part of a viable development. Clearly they must be in sympathy with the development of the area but without car park facilities how will the people, who will be the essence of the Temple Bar development, be able to locate and visit the area? Neither do I accept the Senator's contention that the local authority alone could carry out the development. What the Government have put in place is a three way partnership of the local people, the local authority — Dublin Corporation — and the central Government Departments and agencies. All are involved and all can contribute to the process in a consensual way. Would Senator Hederman have excluded the local people who have argued strongly that Government Departments and agencies must be involved and have requested their involvement?

Senator Hederman confused me with her welcome support for the Taoiseach's involvement and his good taste but her supposition that this could in any way lead to a museum type development in Temple Bar is ill-founded. I can assure the Senator and the House that this is not intended. The objective is to create a vibrant, appealing development, building on what is already evident in the area. Any recommendations with regard to the car park incentive were proper to the Finance Act and not to today's Bill. In any event, a similar amendment was ruled out of order in the other House.

I welcome Senator Ryan's contribution, coming from a person who has been very involved in the development of Temple Bar. I agree with his remarks on the car parking issue; we need to be selective but Temple Bar is a location where car parking is essential and should be supported.

Senator Staunton in his customary positive contribution stated that there is no possibility of a development such as the civic offices within the Temple Bar area and I agree with him. Both companies involved in the development of the area include on their board of directors, representatives from the area. More importantly, Temple Bar Renewal Limited can only approve expenditure on small scale enterprises for the purposes of tax incentives under the Finance Act. The criteria for approval are set out specifically in the Second Schedule of this Bill.

I thank all those who contributed, including Senator Bennett, Senator Haughey, Senator Manning, Senator Staunton and Senator Hederman. I thank Senator Haughey for his tremendous work as Lord Mayor of Dublin in pushing forward this project and I compliment Senator Ryan who, as chairman of the Planning Committee of Dublin Corporation, made a major contribution to ensuring that a consensus was achieved, that a tasteful development could proceed and that the sensitivities of Temple Bar would be protected and preserved. I look forward to seeing the new chairman of one of these companies, alderman, councillor and now Lord Mayor, Seán Kenny — whose parents come from my own constituency — make a major contribution and give a positive lead ensuring that when this Bill is enacted Dublin Corporation under his leadership and the central Government Departments in consultation with the Temple Bar Development Council may create a congenial ambience for the people of Dublin and for visitors to our capital city from this country and internationally. I am confident that all Members of this House and the people of Dublin will be satisfied with the effort we are making to create this new, wonderful opportunity for our capital city.

Question put and agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining Stages today.