Deputy John Deasy: That is fair enough. May I ask Mr. Ryan about Waterford courthouse?
Mr. Brendan Ryan (CEO, Courts Service): Yes, of course.
Deputy John Deasy: My understanding is that the tender process is to be completed by March 2015.
Mr. Brendan Ryan: We are down to four companies that have bid for the bundle of seven
courthouses. By May 2015 we will be down to a single company and anticipate that contracts will be signed by October 2015 approximately, with site work to begin straight away. As the Deputy is aware, we are getting the site in Waterford and will have six courtrooms. I have the details to hand-----
Deputy John Deasy: Will Mr. Ryan give me an idea of the date of completion?
Mr. Brendan Ryan: Everything will be completed. All seven projects will start at the same time. To let the Deputy know what they are, they include the courthouses in Drogheda, Waterford, Wexford, Cork, Limerick, Letterkenny and Mullingar. We expect work on all of them to be finished by the start of 2017 approximately.
Deputy John Deasy: In 2017.
Mr. Brendan Ryan: Yes, it is in the interests of the public private partnership, PPP, developer to get things finished earlier. It is like the Newlands Cross project, on which work finished three months early. The developers started to be paid three months earlier; consequently, it is in the interests of the people concerned to finish early.
Deputy John Deasy: Mr. Ryan believes the work will be completed at the start of 2017.
Mr. Brendan Ryan: Yes, in the first few months of 2017.
Deputy John Deasy: It has just changed from the start of 2017 to some time in 2017.
Mr. Brendan Ryan: Yes, it depends on the particular project involved; some of them are small enough. For example, in Drogheda it is a greenfield site as such and the courthouse is small and will go up easily. The Deputy will appreciate that in Waterford there is a lot of conservation work involved. Moreover, it is an extension to an existing building in respect of which there are preservation issues; consequently, it will take a little longer to complete.
I was delighted when the courts bundle was included in the stimulus package announced by the Government couple of years ago. We have 12 projects outstanding. While we have carried out numerous building projects, 12 county towns remain and once these seven projects are completed, only five county town venues will remain to be dealt with. They will all be significant and efficient buildings; consequently, I was delighted when they were included in the stimulus package. I am also delighted that the work has proceeded to this extent. We have handed over the procurement process to the National Development Finance Agency which is working on it.