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Minutes of a Department of Health governance meeting with the Council in October reported that Kingram House was “at capacity” and the Council was “currently looking at future options”.
Controversially, the Medical Council entered into arrangements in 2008 whereby it was subsequently tied into a 20-year lease on its current base with annual rent far above market rates in recent years. The tenancy terms were subject to litigation, with the judgement in favour of Kingram House’s owner Tanat Ltd. The Council appealed this decision but a confidential settlement was subsequently reached in 2015.
The lease on Kingram House will expire in December 2032. In 2016, the Council expended €974,176 on rent and rates, down from €1,074,363 in 2015.
According to the minutes obtained following a Freedom of Information request to the Department, it was “reiterated that consent to the sale of [former Council HQ] Lynn House was given on the condition that any funds accruing to the Council from its disposal were to be used to future-proof their spatial requirements”. Ms Mary Jackson, an official in the Department’s governance unit, suggested the Council contact the Office of Public Works (OPW) regarding possible options available.
Proceeds from the sale in 2016 of Lynn House, Rathmines, Dublin 6, totalled €2.3 million, which was below the reported asking price of €2.75 million.
A spokesperson for the Council informed MI: “Discussions around the long-term spatial requirements of the Medical Council are ongoing and nothing has been decided as yet. We’re in the midst of a busy year, with elections taking place, an outgoing Council and an incoming Council, and we’re still assessing and researching our options regarding the future.”