The government has defended the cost of renovating the Farmleigh estate in the Phoenix Park which was purchased by the state 2 years ago for €29.2 million from the Guinness family.

Farmleigh is a 78 acres estate situated to the north-west of Dublin's Phoenix Park. It is to be used as a venue for hosting foreign leaders during official visits, north-south meetings and other public events. 

The house at Farmleigh has been carefully refurbished by the Office of Public Works. There has been some controversy over how much has been spent with the entire project costing £41 million. Minister of State Martin Cullen believes that the security offered by the estate to visiting dignitaries justify the cost.

What we now have here is a permanently secure property not alone for meetings but that people can stay in absolute security. 

An RTÉ News report by Eileen Whelan broadcast on 26 June 2001.