Justice Department set to quit expensive office

A major Government department is pulling out of upmarket Dublin offices in an attempt to save millions of euro, it claimed today.

The Department of Justice confirmed it will not renew its expensive lease on Pinebrook House on Harcourt Street in 2010.

The building, which takes up the site of several four-storey houses on the prime city-centre Georgian terrace, was costing the taxpayer a whopping €1.6m a year.

Around 200 civil servants based there will be moved around the corner to the former Office of Public Works (OPW) building on St Stephen’s Green.

A spokesman for Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said the move would save €8m over the next five years.

“The decentralisation programme has freed up some State owned property in central Dublin,” he said.

“The Minister and senior management at the Department of Justice have been looking at means of cutting its costs.

“The availability of the OPW building on St Stephen’s Green has provided an opportunity to utilise State-owned property and make significant savings in terms of rents.”

The OPW offices are already owned by the State, and were emptied after most of the staff were decentralised to Trim in Co Meath.

The Department of Justice had housed several units in Pinebrook House since March 2006.

Renting the offices will have cost the public purse an estimated €6.4m over the four years.

Although the Government had a five-year lease, there was a “break” clause after four years which has given the Department the opportunity to leave next March.


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