Ballina should still be the location for the Mary Robinson Archive – Peadar Tóibín TD
Cathaoirleach of the Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs committee Peadar Tóibín TD has welcomed news that the proposal to seek a tax relief for the archive of former president Mary Robinson will not now proceed.
An Teachta Tóibín said;
“By all accounts it looks like the financially convoluted arrangement to house the archive in Mrs Robinson's former home will not proceed. This will save the state millions of euro.
“Serious questions remain as to the process undertaken by Minister Heather Humphreys in deciding to investment millions in the project. How could Mayo County Council guarantee an indefinite sum of money for the project, especially considering the poor structural state of the building? What role did the Taoiseach have in getting the project through until it came under public scrutiny? The role of Section 1003 tax relief for political archives must also be scrutinised. Materials created by well-pensioned former elected representatives, while they were in the pay of the state, should not in my view be considered for tax relief. The well-established convention of former presidents gifting their archives to the state has served academics, students and citizens well to date.
“The people of Mayo, and Ballina in particular, are rightly proud of Mary Robinson’s work as a Seanadóir, Irish President and UN High Commissioner. It is really important that at this juncture that Minister Humpherys, NUIG and Mayo County Council come together to find a home in Ballina to house the archive. What’s equally important is that Tax Payers' money is protected and safeguarded in the process.”