Connaughton demands PAC ask questions over rent being paid for empty building

Moves are under way to have the Galway Roscommon Education Training Board and the Department of Education publicly explain why the GRETB is paying rent on an empty building in Galway city.

Fine Gael Galway East TD Paul Connaughton will be writing to the chair of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness, to demand that both the Department and the GRETB appear before the committee to answer questions about the vacant building.

According to Dep Connaughton, who is also a member of the PAC, GRETB is tied into a lease costing €88,055 a year for a building which was the headquarters of County Galway VEC, but which is now vacant. The lease started in September 1992 and does not expire until 2027. The TD says that GRETB will spend €1.9 million on a vacant building between now and when the lease expires.

“Questions must be asked as to why the Department of Education did not insist on a break clause in such a significant long-term lease,” said Dep Connaughton, who also wants PAC to examine what efforts were made regarding subletting the entire building.

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