Dáil Éireann - Volume 473 - 22 January, 1997

Written Answers. - Recreational Facilities.

387. Mr. Hyland asked the Minister for Education if she will authorise the already agreed expenditure of £30,000 to enable Laois vocational education committee to purchase an extra playing field at St. Fergal's College, Rathdowney; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1686/97]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): County Laois vocational education committee requested my Department to approve the purchase of a 5.8 acre site at St. Fergal's College, Rathdowney to enhance the playing space at the school. The matter was considered by my Department's building unit and it was decided that because of restrictions on the school site, the acquisition of the additional playing space was justified on condition that the land could be obtained economically.

The Valuation Office advised that a price of £30,000 was fair and reasonable for the property in question, and as a result County Laois vocational education committee were authorised to enter into negotiations for the purchase of the proposed site within the parameters suggested. However, the vendor was not willing to sell the property for the price offered by the Department.

County Laois vocational education committee were notified in July, 1996 that the valuation remained unchanged, and unless the land could be acquired at the price suggested by the Valuation Office, the school would have no option but to use the playing area already available.