Sale of U2's Dublin docklands studio queried by watchdog
THE Dail's spending watchdog is to look into the sale of a site in Dublin's docklands to U2 for just €450,000.
The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) agreed to sell the band the site on Hanover Quay where they recorded many albums.
However, Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Joe Costello queried the sale, saying it was "very valuable property" that had not been advertised publicly.
He questioned whether the DDDA should be selling properties when it is being wound down, and accused the DDDA of selling the property "in a questionable manner", saying it appeared to be undervalued.
"This is an area where one would not purchase a semi-detached residence for that amount," Mr Costello said.
PAC chairman John McGuinness said the authority would be asked to address the points raised by Mr Costello.
U2 began using the studio at 16 Hanover Quay in 1994. It had been owned by businessman Harry Crosbie, but he was forced to sell it for an undisclosed sum in 2004 to allow for public amenity works to take place.
As part of the deal, the authority planned to give U2 the top two floors of a 32-storey tower which was planned for the area. However, that project never went ahead.
Earlier this week, the DDDA said that it would not need to knock down 16 Hanover Quay and that the site at No 16 was being acquired ny U2 for a sum in the region of €450,000. A spokesman would not say why the sale was not advertised, but insisted it sold at market value.