Saturday 22 October 2016

Council splashes €85k on two carpets for the Mansion House

New Mansion House carpet
New Mansion House carpet

Dublin City Council has splurged nearly €90,000 on new carpets for just two rooms at the Mansion House this year, in a move that has sparked controversy.

The carpets were fitted at a cost of €85,139.

Another €3,690 was paid on "consultancy" in relation to them, according to figures supplied to the Herald under the Freedom of Information Act.

The city council has said that there are a high number of visitors to the Mansion House and that the two rooms involved are used on a regular basis.

However, Independent TD Finian McGrath said that it was a question of priorities in relation to spending.

"€90,000 would go a long way to funding a shelter or a house or two for people who are homeless," he said.

"That money could be used to refurbish senior citizen complexes throughout the city."

The two rooms were fitted out with the new bespoke carpets in April.

A spokesperson for the council said the Mansion House receives many visitors every year.

"Both the drawing room and the dining room (inset) are used on a regular basis and are not 'museum' rooms," the spokesperson said.

"When new rugs/carpets were needed for these rooms, a contract was issued for provision of expert advice by one of Ireland's leading experts in historical carpets, with 40 years' experience. His advice was crucial in ensuring that the carpets chosen for the Mansion House were suitable in terms of quality and longevity, as well as ensuring that the design was appropriate to a historic house."

Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke told the Herald that up to 200 people a day visit the Mansion House, including local groups from all over the city.

"It is the most historic house in Dublin - it's a house for the people," he said.

The figures show the largest outlay in relation to the Mansion House was €95,373 on "works to carry out drainage, service ramp and fire escape upgrade", with €13,007 paid on consultancy.

Meanwhile, the repair and painting of the iron portico at the Mansion House entrance came to €20,046.

Separately, spending earmarked for City Hall includes the restoration of three canvas portraits at a cost of some €10,498, which will be carried out over a two-year period.

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