Tuesday 13 November 2018

Bus Eireann submitted only suitable proposal

THE PROPOSAL by Bus Eireann to house the Fry Model Railway at the basement Eblana Theatre in Dublin city centre was the only suitable proposal submitted to Dublin Tourism, it has been claimed.

Speaking in the Seanad, Junior Tourism Minister Michael Ring said that Dublin Tourism considered it vital that a suitable home be identified for the collection and approved a process subject to a number of criteria. These included that the collection and the rolling stock must be kept together, it should be kept in the Dublin region as a visitor attraction, it must be on exhibit to the public during certain opening hours, the deed of covenant must be adhered to and also that it would be preferable if it could be kept in public ownership. 'Given these criteria Bus Éireann and the Busáras building was the only suitable party identified as a potential home for the model railway,' Minister Ring said. He added that some months later a group from Malahide approached Dublin Tourism with information concerning a related private bequest and the potential to house the railway in another building in Malahide. 'From the outset this group was informed that Dublin Tourism had already entered into negotiations with another party and that the process was well advanced. 'On January 16, Dublin Tourism amalgamated with Fáilte Ireland. Fáilte Ireland is now in advanced negotiations regarding the best possible future use and promotion of the Fry Model Railway and expects the matter to be concluded over the coming weeks. Any final agreement reached will be in keeping with the terms of the original covenant which bestowed it to the State.' However, Senator Darragh O'brien, who raised the issue, said that the efforts by Dublin Tourism to find a suitable home were only intended for the storage of the model railway and not to provide for a permanent home.