Wednesday 19 June 2019

U2 Docklands property deal to be quizzed by Dail spending watchdog

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Irish singer Bono, lead vocalist of band U2, jokes with a hotel staff before boarding a taxi boat transporting guests to the venue of a gala dinner ahead of the official wedding ceremony of U.S. actor George Clooney and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin in Venice September 27, 2014

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

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 of their best-selling albums.

However, Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Joe Costello queried the sale at this morning’s meeting of the committee, saying it had not been advertised.

He accused the DDDA of selling the property “in a questionable manner”, saying it appeared to be undervalued.

Someone would only get a semi-detached house for the same price in the area, he said.

The committee is now to write to the authority, which is currently being wound down, seeking information on the sale.

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U2 had previously owned a studio at 16 Hanover Quay, but were forced to sell it for an undisclosed sum in 2002 to allow for public amenity works to take place.

As part of the deal, the authority planned to give the band 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 authority said that in light of its imminent dissolution and the recent approval by An Bord Pleneala for the North Lotts and Grand Canal planning scheme, it would not be proceeding with a proposed compulsory purchase order of 16 and 18 Hanover Quay.

The statement said the site at No 16 was now being acquired on behalf of U2.

Online Editors

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