Kickham Barracks closure ‘difficult to justify’ – Prendergast

Labour MEP Phil Prendergast has said that closing Kickham Barracks in
Clonmel would be difficult to justify as it would not appear to save money in the foreseeable future.

“Looking at the information available it is difficult to see any sense in
closing Kickham Barracks.

“I have sent Minister Shatter a report based on my own research and
information supplied by the families of Army personnel. It outlines some
of the direct costs and other considerations involved in closing the
barracks and transferring personnel to Limerick.

“It shows that outlay in expenses for personnel would go up if they were transferred while securing the barracks would be an added ongoing cost.

“My report also shows the loss of income to the local economy would be around €10 million. This would mean job losses which would cost the
Department of Social Protection money. There would be additional costs for social services – particularly during our flooding months.

“New information has since come to light that supports the arguments I’ve made for retaining the barracks.

“The Irish Times this week published details of an internal Defence Forces report showing the cost of transferring Kickham personnel at €5.75 million.

“Unless Minister Shatter can show us something to the contrary, all the
evidence suggests closure would be difficult to justify on cost grounds.

“This government must bring the cost of running the country down and every area must play its part. But cuts must lead to quick savings. It appears that closing Kickham would take years to achieve savings by which time we all hope the economy will be growing healthily again.

“I look forward to getting Minister Shatter’s response to my report but as things stand I can find no economic argument for closing Kickham.”


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