Rent on empty GRETB building must be queried

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East Galway TD Paul Connaughton will be writing to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in coming days seeking to have both Galway Roscommon Education Training Board (GRETB) and the Department of Education come before the committee to explain why the training board is paying rent on an empty building in Galway City.
‘It has emerged that GRETB is tied into a lease costing €88,055 per annum for a building which was the headquarters of County Galway VEC, but which is now vacant. The lease, which started in September 1992, does not expire until 2027. Part of this building is sub-let, which brings in €25,186 per annum. The building was vacated ten years ago, at the end of December 2004. All of this means that GRETB will spend €1.9 million on a vacant building between now and when the lease expires.
‘Questions must be asked as to why the Department of Education did not insist on a break clause in such a significant long-term lease. I believe that the Public Accounts Committee must also examine what efforts were made to sublet the remainder of the building, as GRETB continues to lose over €60,000 per annum on this building.
‘As a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I believe that it is important that the relevant people in GRETB and the Department of Education come before the PAC and discuss this matter. I will be writing to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee to have this addressed as soon as possible.’