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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 19 June, 2018

Government backs National Diaspora Centre but wants a third-party to pay for it

Leo Varadkar says that the funds are not there and those expressing interest will be asked if they would be able to meet some or all of the capital costs.

The Minister of State and Minister at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
The Minister of State and Minister at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT WANTS to set up a National Diaspora Centre buts has said that it doesn’t have the money develop it and will instead look for a partner to cover some or all of the capital costs.

The Government will now engage with Fáilte Ireland in a attempt to gauge the interest of potential partners in the project.

The announcement comes after a viability study by Fáilte Ireland and cabinet approval for the project.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has said, however, that although the Government can see its benefit, they are unable to cover the cost at present.

“The State’s finances remain extremely constrained, and we are not in a position to develop the centre from our own resources. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make it happen,” he said.

That is why we have decided to progress this project through a partnership process. The call will be issued by Fáilte Ireland in the next couple of weeks and will make clear the lack of public funds currently available means that the project would most likely be for development in the medium term.

Groups making an expression of interest will be asked to indicate if they would be able to meet some or all of the capital costs according to the department.

The study carried out into the project estimated that the cost to set up the centre could range from €5 million to €26 million depending on its location, scale and whether a new building would be built.

The study also suggest that the cost of the centre could be reduced through sponsorship.

The study concluded that the National Diaspora Centre would be a major tourist attraction but must be developed in way that also attracts people living in Ireland

Read: Some good news: 7 million people visited Ireland this year >

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Rónán Duffy

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