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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Callan (Kilkenny) Farm Purchase.

Wednesday, 29 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 10

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40.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries what is the present position regarding a farm which was purchased for a powder plant and cheese factory at Callan, County Kilkenny, following arrangements with his Department; the amount paid for it; and the use to which it is being put at present.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries (Mr. Haughey): Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I do not accept the implication in the question that this land was purchased as a result of arrangements with my Department. The promoters of this project for a butter-churning centre, milk powder factory and cheese factory were at the outset given clearly to understand that the grant of the necessary manufacturing licences would be subject, inter alia, to the condition that [1512] the site would be found by my Department to be suitable. The Callan site was purchased without awaiting the necessary inspection as to suitability. In fact on inspection its situation was found to be unsuitable in relation to the sources of the milk to be used at the factories and these are now being established near Ballyragget, County Kilkenny.

I have no official information in regard to the amount paid for the land in question or the use to which it is being put at present.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Who purchased the farm and on whose behalf was it purchased?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey As I understand it, this project is being undertaken by a group of 35 creamery societies who are coming together in a federation. My understanding is that they appointed a sub-committee to negotiate for the purchase of this particular farm. They have a management committee appointed to undertake the project and I think it was a sub-committee of that management committee that arranged the purchase.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Will the Department be held responsible for paying for it or has the Minister any idea as to what use the farm is being put at present?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey I understand it is being rented by another co-operative society farm for purposes of progeny testing. As far as I understand, the group intend to dispose of it later.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange If it is being rented for progeny testing, who is in control of it there? Is it the Minister and the Department of Agriculture who are engaged in this progeny testing?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey No. I want to assure the Deputy that the Department is not concerned in this matter at all. Our sole function in regard to this matter was to license the site as suitable. This site was purchased before we inspected it for suitability. We subsequently inspected and indicated that it was not suitable.

[1513]Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange The point I want to get at is: who is carrying out the progeny testing on this? Is it done by the Department of Agriculture or by any Government Department or agency?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey No. It is the South Eastern Cattlebreeding Society, Limited, Dovea, Thurles. That is another co-operative society.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Is that under the Minister's jurisdiction?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey No; it is a co-operative society.


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