347. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the new headquarters for Forensic Science Ireland. [23729/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that I, and the Government, are fully committed to the delivery of the new Forensic Science Laboratory at the Backweston campus, Co Kildare. The new laboratory will provide for a purpose built facility, achieving best practice standards for evidence processing, analysis and storage. The project is being managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW) on behalf of the Department of Justice and Equality.
The OPW has informed the Department that the main construction tender will be received in June 2019, with the return date for the specialist sub-contractor tender scheduled for August 2019. Thereafter, an assessment of these tenders by OPW will begin, with the main contractor and specialist sub-contractors due to be appointed as soon as possible. Subject to approval of the contract, it is expected that works on the site will commence later this year, with substantial construction work carried out over the next two years or so, and the new laboratory to be ready in late 2021/early 2022.