Tuesday 20 February 2018

State spent €900,000 to revamp Paris embassy

It is illegal to fly a drone without a licence in France
It is illegal to fly a drone without a licence in France

Gordon Deegan

The government spent €900,000 refurbishing the Irish embassy in Paris, including forking out thousands to restore carpets and furniture.

Restoration of an antique carpet, table and furniture at the embassy cost €12,496, while another €30,912 was spent on the renovation of two bathrooms, including plumbing and painting, at the embassy last year.

Figures provided by the Dept of Foreign Affairs show that the Government spent €907,751 on the Paris embassy in 2014 and 2013, with €528,197 spent on improvement works last year.

Figures provided in response to a Freedom of Information request show the spend on the restoration of the antique carpet totalled €4,903, with an additional €2,212 spent on the restoration of an antique table in 2013. A further €5,381 was spent on the restoration of antique furniture, with €2,174 spent on the restoration of a parquet floor.

Explaining the outlay, a spokeswoman for the Dept of Foreign Affairs said: "The carpet in the main reception room is a historic Donegal carpet - with the State Harp in its centre. It has been in the embassy for over 50 years and had not been repaired in over 15 years. This restoration work was for extensive fraying and damage that had occurred as a result of wear and tear.

"Antique furniture in the reception rooms in the embassy had not been restored since the building was purchased 60 years ago."

On the spend on the bathrooms, she added: "Due to leaks, the bathrooms were causing water damage in the building. The flooring was rotten and, to avoid water leaking, it was necessary to replace the wooden floor with a concrete floor. The bathroom was then re-tiled and the heavy bath replaced by a shower."

The bulk of the spending at the Paris embassy was on its consular offices, totalling €475,139 over 2014 and 2013 "to meet current health and safety standards for a work-place".

Irish Independent

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