Statement from Údarás na Gaeltachta in relation to Trident Safety Group

22 March, 2012

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Údarás na Gaeltachta wishes to clarify information contained in an article published in the Irish Examiner on Monday 12th of March entitled “120 jobs lost due to Údarás red tape”. This article was unbalanced, inaccurate and did not reflect the current situation in relation to discussions between Údarás, Bernard Walsh and Trident Safety.

Senior executives from Údarás held a number of meetings with Mr Bernard Walsh of the Trident Safety Group in 2010 in relation to a proposal he had for Coláiste Íosagáin. Údarás na Gaeltachta was seeking business proposals from interested parties in relation to the redevelopment of Coláiste Íosagáin. Mr Walsh presented Údarás executives with an outline business proposal for the development of an International Training Facility. Údarás indicated from the outset that they were interested with the business concept that Mr Walsh was proposing and that it was in line with its overall enterprise development objectives. At the time, we indicated to Mr Walsh that the Údarás’ decision to sell the property would be based a comprehensive business development and implementation plan demonstrating the viability, funding, and market potential of the proposed project. We also required that Trident Safety illustrate that the necessary management and technical expertise be available to establish the new enterprise on a stable foundation. Údarás executives said that that they were willing to make a proposal to the Údarás Board for consideration to fund a percentage of the costs of the business plan, providing the necessary information was made available by Trident Safety – i.e. up to date company accounts, details of the directors involved, breakdown of costs in relation to feasibility study, etc . We wrote to Mr Walsh on a number of times in 2011 (in April, July and August) asking for this basic information. To date, this information has not been provided to Údarás. Coláiste Íosagáin is a state asset. There would have been severe issues had we simply handed over a state asset without a comprehensive business plan, up to date company accounts, evidence as to how the development was to be funded and information that would allow us to comprehensively analyse the viability of the development. Údarás is actively seeking investors for Coláiste Íosagáin and still open to discussions with Mr Walsh.