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Taoiseach refuses to answer questions on Multi Million Euro Mary Robinson Library decision

30 October, 2016

Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Committee Peadar Tóibín TD submitted questions to the Taoiseach over a week ago regarding his involvement in the decision to invest state funding into the Mary Robinson Centre Library in Ballina in Mayo.

Teachta Tóibín said it is not good enough that these questions were sent back unanswered.

Speaking today Teachta Tóibín;

“There is no doubt that there is value in the Mary Robinson Archive. There is no doubt that the people of Mayo of rightly proud of her achievements.  It is also logical that this archive be located in Mayo to allow for access and to help the local economy.

“However there are major question marks with regarding the €5.5m of public funds involved in the project including the fact that the pensioned former Seanadóir, President and UN High Commissioner will be receiving €2m in tax reliefs as a result of the ‘gifting’ of the archive. I have also significant concerns that Mayo County Council has committed to covering unforeseen costs within the project.

“It is well known that the Taoiseach gave his backing to the project. What’s not well known is the process that was used to make this decision. The Department of the Arts did not approve the project under any specific scheme. I submitted three simple questions to the Taoiseach asking what contacts he or his department had regarding the decision either with the Department of the Arts or the Minister for the Arts or the Robinson family. These questions were sent back to me without an answer.

“This is not good enough. This is a significant amount of Tax Payers’ money and TDs are entitled to know how its spent. I would urge to Taoiseach to answer these questions at the earliest opportunity to ensure full transparency.”


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