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National Monuments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 13 May 2021

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Ceisteanna (241, 242, 243)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

241. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if the National Monument in 14-17 Moore Street, Dublin is under full State control as the Moore Street Advisory Group requested in its report on 6 May 2021 given that it has emerged that there is a private in-perpetuity lease on at least No. 16 which could hamper any future use by the State as a museum or tribute to the Volunteers of the 1916 Rising and would be dependent on agreement with a private individual or individuals; if such a lease exists, if the attention of the National Monuments Service was drawn to such a lease or claim of such a lease; and if his attention was drawn to establishing the Moore Street Advisory Committee. [25493/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

242. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the sequence involved in the purchase by the State of 14-18 Moore Street, Dublin 1; if NAMA or the State made the approach; when the first approach was made; the officials from the State bodies NAMA, National Monuments Service, his Department, the OPW and so on involved in the purchase; the cost of the purchase; when the purchase was made; the legal firms involved; and if a full Land Registry search was carried out to ascertain whether there were outstanding liabilities, claims or leases against the properties. [25494/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

243. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the OPW or the national monuments section of his Department will publish its plans in relation to the National Monument, 14-17 Moore Street Dublin, Dublin 1. [25496/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 241, 242 and 243 together.

I refer to the reply to Questions Nos. 368, 369 and 370 on 11 May 2021 which clarified that, in a legal transaction and conveyancing managed by the Chief State Solicitor’s Office, the freehold ownership of these buildings was acquired by the State from the previous owner in 2015. It was also clarified that the acquisition and conveyance of freehold title had not been subject to any encumbrance, leasehold interest or title burden and that no lease of any description had been entered into in the meantime. The acquisition was facilitated by NAMA and the consideration involved amounted to €4m. This has long been a matter of public record.

Any transaction of this scale involving State bodies, by definition, engages a significant number of officials including the Minister and senior officials. It would not accord with parliamentary convention and practice to name the many personnel involved in this transaction in the Chief State Solicitor's Office, the Attorney General's Office, the then Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and NAMA.

In its recently completed final report, the Moore Street Advisory Group (MSAG) has, as one its key recommendations, endorsed the proposals put forward by the Irish Heritage Trust for the conservation and presentation of the national monument buildings and the creation of new visitor and reception facilities to the rear. These proposals, which will be fully considered by my Department and the Office of Public Works in determining the best solution for the national monument, are to be published on the Department’s website, along with the MSAG report itself.

Question No. 242 answered with Question No. 241.
Question No. 243 answered with Question No. 241.
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