Department of Defence lands to raise £100m


The Minister for Defence, Mr Smith, has overseen the sale of 21 military properties in the last three years. The six military barracks to be sold include Clancy Barracks in Dublin which is expected to fetch £20 million (#25.4m) when it is sold next month. The value of these sales is in excess of £50 million (#63.5m).

With the sale of Clancy Barracks in Dublin next month and the possible closure and disposal of Gormanstown camp in Co Meath, it is likely that the Department of Defence will raise a total of about £100 million (#127m).

The money is being spent on acquiring new military equipment, including up to 80 armoured personnel carriers and up to five medium-lift helicopters, and on upgrading the Army's accommodation at the Curragh in Co Kildare.

While Dublin Corporation has been pressing for additional conditions to be placed on the sale of the Barracks, the Department of Defence points out that it will be sold under normal conditions concerning provision of affordable housing. Under the 2000 Planning Act, local authorities can claim up to 20 per cent of sites for social and affordable housing.

Clancy Barracks was originally known as Islandbridge Barracks and dates from about 1857. It was taken over by the Irish Army on the 15th December 1922 and was renamed Clancy Barracks in 1942 after Peader Clancy, a Co Clare man killed during the War of Independence in 1920. The other barracks are: Fermoy, Co Cork; Ballincollig, in the suburbs of Cork; the former apprentice school at Naas; Kildare Barracks; Castle blayney, Co Monaghan and Clancy Barracks, Dublin.

Fitzgerald Camp, Fermoy, is in the process of being sold to Cork County Council for £767,000 (#974,000) for economic development of the site in conjunction with the IDA. The former Devoy Barracks in Naas, Co Kildare, comprises approximately 22 acres. Mr Smith has ceded seven acres free of charge to Naas Urban District Council and agreed to sell one acre to Kildare County Council for £300,000 (#380,921), for local community purposes. He has also agreed to sell the remaining 14 acres, which are zoned for housing, to Naas UDC for £7 million (#8.8m). The former barracks at Castleblayney, Co Monaghan is being sold to the North Eastern Health Board for £600,000 (#716,842).

An Integrated Area Action Plan was commissioned from independent consultants to provide for the future development of the largest of the barracks concerned - Murphy Barracks, at Ballincollig in Cork.

Magee Barracks, Kildare, is currently providing accommodation for asylum seekers. The Minister has also agreed to provide around one acre to the local authority for a temporary halting site for of one year. The disposal of 10 acres at Mellows Field beside Renmore Barracks, Galway will "proceed as soon as is practicable."

Mr Smith has already overseen the sale of:

1.07 acres at Arbour Hill to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform for £2.5 million (#3.2m);

6.39 acres known as `Susan's Field', adjoining Collins Barracks, to Cork Corporation for £1.2 million (#1.5m);

3 acres at Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick, to Limerick Corporation for £915,000 (#1.2m);

1.6 acres at Waterford Barracks to Waterford Corporation for £550,000 (#698,356);

20 acres of the Curragh lands to Kildare County Council for £215,000 (#272,994) to assist with the construction of the Kildare by-pass;

100 married quarters at Orchard Park, the Curragh, to residents, which will realise about £3 million (#3.8m).

The 21 properties sold in the last three years include 11 houses at Magee Terrace in Kildare town, adjacent to the former Magee Barracks.