Gardai probe €5m spent on workhouse restoration by FAS
GARDAI are investigating how a derelict pre-famine workhouse, which was to be refurbished into a modern hostel in a Fas-run project, remains rundown despite almost €5m of public funds being spent on the project.
The renovation works, which began on the property in Tipperary town in 2000, were supposed to be completed within four years. However, only one room on the site has been completed.
The project, which was the subject of an RTE investigation, is also under examination by the Public Account Committee.
It emerged several of the 23 workers who were supposed to be working on the site of the former workhouse ended up working in 62 other locations, including local GAA and tennis clubs as well as community halls and other local amenities. Twenty private dwellings were also renovated.
Six Fas workers carried out work on the construction of a new stand in Lattin Cullen GAA club and in the offices of Tipp Midwest community radio.
The hostel scheme's treasurer, former Fianna Fail Cllr Michael Maguire, was a former chairman of both the GAA club and the community radio station, according to the programme.
Solas, which manages some of the functions of Fas follows its dissolution, acknowledged that the scheme allowed for trainees to work in other community projects to ensure work was continuous.
However it added this work needed to be approved.