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Just under €2 million was spent on roof repairs at the Irish Embassy in London last year

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was a “significant project” at the building on 17 Grosvenor Place.

The embassy is situated in Belgravia
The embassy is situated in Belgravia
Image: Shutterstock/Chrispictures

THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs picked up a tab of over €1.8 million for roof repairs to the Irish embassy in London last year.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show nine invoices related to the work carried out in what was described as a “significant project” on the embassy in the plush Belgravia area of the British capital.

The work done to the embassy, which lasted 24 months, arose out of “lease obligations and because of significant leaks and other maintenance issues with the roof”, the department said.

It said: “The building is a grade 2 listed 19th century building located on a prominent corner overlooking Buckingham Palace Gardens. The roof covers an extensive area and structures.”

Here’s the breakdown of the invoices received from the roofing contractors last year:

  • 20 April £180,829.08
  • 18 May – £106.273.08
  • 19 June – £184,774.48
  • 16 July – £231,247.86
  • 13 August – £326,762.76
  • 11 September – £258,694.50
  • 5 October – £124,765.20
  • 5 November – £259,375.08
  • 28 November – £89,570.94

When the last invoice was issued at the end of November, the gross value of the repairs was £1,604,993 (€1,863,701).

To abide by local regulations, the department applied for listed building consent from the local council.

This granted, but with a number of conditions.

“Given the size of the roof, the height off the ground and the complexity of the roof works it required significant scaffolding the works,” the department said.

This was a significant project to ensure that a water-right, safe and compliant project could be delivered that met the obligations under the lease, building obligations and statutory obligations. The project addressed significant deterioration in the roof, safety and health issues and the removal of asbestos.

It added that refurbishment at all embassies are conducted in line with the department’s procurement obligations under government public tendering and contracting rules.

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Built in 1867, the building at 17 Grosvenor Place was once leased to a member of the Guinness family before it was leased to the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, beginning in 1949.

The Irish government has since situated its embassy there since Christmas Day 1949.

Typically, properties in this are worth millions of pounds. 

With reporting from Ken Foxe

About the author:

Sean Murray

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