Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (94, 95)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

94. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if memorial plaques have been removed from Columb Barracks, Mullingar; and the person or body responsible for their removal. [21294/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

95. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the details of damage resulting from vandalism and neglect to the former Army barracks in Mullingar in the past 12 months. [21308/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 95 together.

As Columb Barracks is no longer required for military purposes, the current financial and administrative burden resulting from its retention cannot be sustained and my officials are proceeding with its disposal.

In relation to your question regarding memorial plagues in the Barracks my officials have advised me that they are not aware that any memorial plaques have been removed. However, if the Deputy is aware that plaques may have been removed, I would appreciate if he would advise my office and I will arrange to have the matter further examined.

Lakelands Security Ltd, engaged by my Department to provide security for the Barracks, advise my officials of all incidents of minor vandalism and anti-social behaviour which occur within the Barracks. There have been 5 incidents in the past year relating mainly to the breaking of windows and external doors of various buildings throughout the Barracks. All broken windows and doors have been boarded up to prevent possible illegal access to the buildings. Also, in the past year there have been three unsuccessful attempts to remove several of the internal gates within the Barracks. In November 2017 there was a small fire in a derelict building in the Barracks.

As a result of storm damage this winter, remedial repairs have recently taken place to the roofs of several buildings, including the Church. Following Storm Emma repairs were undertaken to fix a significant water leak within the grounds of the Barracks.