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Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., Announces Funding for the Refurbishment of Block 8, Haulbowline Naval Base

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe T.D., today announced funding for the refurbishment of Block 8 at Haulbowline Naval Base to provide for additional accommodation for Naval Service personnel.

Haulbowline Block 8 is a four storey stone faced building dating from approx. 1822, enjoying ‘listed’ status on the Cork County Council Record of Protected Structures (RPS) and located prominently opposite Cobh. This project envisages the refurbishment and conversion of the building to increase the supply of available bed spaces to current Defence Forces accommodation standards and in a manner complying with heritage considerations following consultation with the Local Authority. 

Minister Kehoe stated that

the refurbishment and upgrading of the facility is being undertaken as part of the 5 year Infrastructure Development Plan which the Taoiseach and myself announced earlier this year. Today’s investment announcement is part of a suite of investments we are making in our Defence Forces over the next 5 years, to ensure that our Defence Forces are enabled to contribute fully to their assigned roles.

The current project is to undertake the refurbishment of the structure, renewal of all mechanical and electrical services and the alterations required to make it suitable to accommodate 70 living-in Naval Service personnel in compliance with the Defence Forces’ accommodation standards.  Commencement of construction work on site is planned for early 2021 and is expected to take one year to complete.

This project provides for an investment of some €4.4m to provide for the accommodation needs of personnel based at Haulbowline while on duty.

The Minister concluded that

I have previously indicated to both Representative Associations the priority I attached to getting this project up and running. Today’s announcement’s confirms my previous assurances on this matter and paves the way to seeing this much needed infrastructure in place in the coming months.

Note for Editors

In January 2020 An Taoiseach, Mr. Leo Varadkar, T.D., and Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., Minister with Responsibility for Defence, announced the publication of the first ever 5 year infrastructure programme for the Defence Forces. This Infrastructure Programme focusses on ensuring that the Defence Forces have the necessary infrastructure to enable them to undertake their roles.  The Programme reflects the complex environment in which the Defence Forces operate and the corresponding need for appropriate infrastructure to provide for accommodation and training of personnel, maintenance and storage of equipment for land, sea and airborne operational requirements. 

There are currently over €68 m worth of projects underway at different stages of development. This level of expenditure will continue to increase as the Programme is implemented. It is projected that some €75m will be spent over the next three years and that over the 5 year lifespan of the Programme some €145m will be invested.  The Programme provides a blueprint for investment in the Defence Forces infrastructure over a multi annual timeframe. The programme will ensure that the required capital funding is prioritised as building activities increase over the lifetime of the Programme. 

The following projects are at various stages of development from Design to Construction:


Cost Inc Vat


Construction of new gymnasia at Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick.  


Construction of new gymnasia at Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny


Locker Block refurbishment in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin 6


Upgrade and refurbishment works to the Cookhouse and Dining Hall in Custume Barracks, Athlone


Upgrade and refurbishment works to the Apprentice Hostel in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel


Upgrade of the Oil Wharf and installation of Fire Detection and Firefighting System at the Naval Base, Haulbowline


Upgrade of accommodation in Blocks 1 and 2 at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin 6


Upgrade of Block 7 accommodation facility in Connolly Barracks, Defence Forces Training Centre


Replacement of a major secure storage facility (phases 2 and 3) at Defence Forces Training Centre


Upgrade of accommodation Blocks B and D at Pearse Barracks, Defence Forces Training Centre;


Upgrade to waste and water services at Coolmoney Camp, Glen of Imaal, Co. Wicklow


Upgrade and refurbishment of two buildings at McKee Barracks, Dublin 7


Upgrade of Blocks 8 and 9 at the Naval Base, Haulbowline and construction/upgrade of Block 1 at Collins Barracks, Cork


Upgrade of underground services at barracks’ in Kilkenny, Dundalk, Galway, Finner Camp and at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel


Upgrade and Extension to the Mission Preparation Centre for use as the Cadet School HQ


Upgrade of existing building at the Camp Field, Collins Barrack for the purpose of providing Personnel Support Service and Veterans Support Centre office


Provision of Dredging Works at Haulbowline Naval Basin


Provision of a Riffle Range and Associated Works, DFTC, Curragh