Thursday February 14th, from Lise Hand in The Irish Independent
A NEW Leinster House charity shop which was opened by Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue yesterday afternoon cost over €800,000, according to Junior Minister Noel Ahern.
Responding to a parliamentary question from Fine Gael’s Olivia Mitchell, Minister Ahern revealed the cost of the small glass premises at the Kildare Street entrance to Leinster House.
“Work commenced on site in March 2007 and was completed in January 2008. The final account for the project has not been completed as yet. The final order of cost for the construction of the new building will be in the region of €800,000 excluding VAT and internal fittings,” he said.
The shop, which is run by disability charity Rehab, was designed by Bucholz-McEvoy Architects and serves as a newsagents for the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Explaining the exorbitant cost of the kiosk-style shop, Noel Ahern said: “Construction work was undertaken in a number of phases, ie site preparation, off-site fabrication of superstructure, installation of superstructure, off-site fabrication of internal fittings and final completion on site. The phasing was necessary due to the intricate nature of the project and to minimise disruption to the operation of Leinster House.”
Perhaps the cost of An Siopa was the reason so many turned up for the official opening.
An Taoiseach was present, although Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue did the official opening honours. He paid tribute to Rehab for promoting employment of people with disabilities: “More and more we are learning to recognise people’s skills and abilities rather than focusing on their limitations,” he said.