Dept of Defence rents premises while closing Cavan barracks
Speaking in the Seanad today, Senator Kathryn Reilly called on the Minister for Defence to come to the House to address the fact that the Department of Defence is looking for a premises to rent in Cavan to accommodate Reserve Defence Force training, while simultaneously closing and selling the existing state-of-the-art army barracks that is there. Senator Reilly was reacting to a request for tender featured in the local newspaper.
Senator Reilly said:
“The people of Cavan have been told that the barracks is being closed to make savings, but there is no economic gain from closing barracks like in Cavan. This is especially the case, when the Department of Defence wants to rent a premises in Cavan to train the Reserve Defence Force. Why sell a state-of-the-art facility to rent another space? It is complete madness.
“What does Minister Howlin have to say in relation to his comprehensive spending review when he is paying rents and other costs associated with renting a property, when the department already has a fine facility in Cavan?
“That doesn’t sound like savings to me. Or the best possible return for the country. The reality is that no financial gain could be made from the sale of these barracks not least when this advert demonstrates there are plenty of uses the barracks can be put to within ownership of the Department of Defence.
“The displacement by soldiers and their families affected by the barracks sale is grossly unfair and for them to see this in today’s paper is a kick in the teeth.
“Shutting this barracks is not the answer. And the rouse of savings and of no alternatives will not wash.
“The Minister of Defence needs to come before this House and explain this as a matter of urgency.”