The use of Dublin’s Convention Centre to host the Dáil is going to cost around €160,000 for a single sitting, despite there being no hire fee for the venue.
The venue has been chosen to allow all 160 TDs to meet to elect a Taoiseach while maintaining social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.
Despite there being no hiring cost, it’s estimated each Dáil sitting there will cost €50,000.
That is on top of once-off set-up fees of €110,000 to adapt the auditorium for proper use as a parliamentary chamber - including the installation of microphones.
So using the Convention Centre to host the Dáil’s election of a Taoiseach is going to cost around €160,000. And that’s with no hire cost of the venue.
A further €50k each time a full sitting of the Dáil is needed pic.twitter.com/6ndSfRFiRr
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) April 8, 2020
An Oireachtas working group examined 13 potential venues, and the Dáil Business Committee has now decided that the Convention Centre "was the best choice when considering both size, availability and cost".
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD said: "Following a detailed discussion and consideration of the proposals and costings presented to us today, we have agreed that the Convention Centre is the most appropriate venue available which will allow the 159 democratically elected members of Dáil Éireann to meet and vote on the election of Taoiseach.
"The Committee envisages that other sessions of Dáil Éireann will continue to meet in Leinster House with restricted numbers present."
He thanked the management and staff of the Convention Centre "for their cooperation in enabling this to happen".