Friday, 6 September 2019

Ceisteanna (190)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

190. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 78 of 28 March 2019, the status of the historical gates to the Phoenix Park removed in summer 2018; when the original gates will be restored and returned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35405/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works obtained permission, under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000-2002 (as amended), for the temporary removal of gates and ancillary structures at eight separate vehicular and pedestrian entrances at the perimeter of the Phoenix Park and for their repair and reinstatement at their existing locations.

These works were required in order to facilitate the free and safe movement of people and vehicles for the Papal visit to the Phoenix Park in connection with the World Meeting of Families in August 2018.  Seven pairs of gates and ancillary structures were finally deemed necessary for removal. 

 The painstaking process to engage the required specialist ironwork expertise, which is not available in-house to OPW, is nearing completion.  A notice was published on eTenders, the Irish Government’s electronic tendering platform administered by the Office of Government Procurement on Friday 30 August 2019 inviting tenders from ironworks specialist contractors for the refurbishment of the seven pairs of gates and, in addition, in situ works to the gates at the Knockmaroon Hill entrance plus other related repairs to railings near all of the gate locations.  It is expected that a contract for these specialist works will be awarded by end October/early November with immediate commencement of the refurbishment works in the appointed contractor’s own workshop.

Once all the gates have been refurbished and returned into the possession of the OPW, a separate contractor will be appointed to carry out masonry repairs to adjoining historic walls and piers, at each gate location where necessary and to remove the temporary gates currently in place.  The final rehanging of all gates will then be carried out by the specialist ironworks contractor who restored the gates.  

Once clarity is obtained from the appointed ironworks specialist contractor on the expected duration of restoration works (currently estimated at 6-9 months), this information will be posted on the Phoenix Park website (www.PhoenixPark.ie).