NEW CAR-PARKING spaces for senior Leinster House civil servants and politicians are to be found in Dublin city centre, as the Office of Public Works concedes there is no longer an argument for keeping the “temporary” car park open on Leinster Lawn.
Officials are compiling a list of alternative parking spaces, which is to be given to the House’s Oireachtas Commission next week.
Leinster Lawn was replaced by a car park in July 1998 as a “temporary” measure to allow the construction of the wing known as Leinster House 2000.
The new parking spaces on the lawn went mainly to senior staff and a handful of politicians. Planning permission from Dublin city council required that the lawn be reinstated by 2000, but the members of the Oireachtas Commission decided to ignore the rule pending the building of a two-storey underground car park.
However, the Minister responsible for the OPW, Martin Mansergh, has let it be known he will not spend any more money than is absolutely necessary on Leinster House and has even refused to strengthen the top floor, which is consequently now empty for safety reasons.
Various suggestions that the underground car park would pay for itself by charging members of the public at weekends were put forward but rejected on security and economic grounds.