A house that has cost the tax payer over one million pounds has never been used by the state. Politicians try to find out why.

Members of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee visited the building at 5 Kildare Street, Dublin to see first hand what the money had been spent on.  

The house that cost the tax payer between 1.2 and 2 million pounds.

It is estimated that renovations will cost over half a million pounds.

Number 5 Kildare Street is owned by the Office of Public Works (OPW), who say that no individual officers can be held responsible for the huge expense. Chris Flynn, Public Relations Officer for the OPW, while acknowledging that mistakes had taken place, admitted that they couldn't justify the expenditure. 

Gay Mitchell TD, who led the inspection of the property, says that the job of the Public Accounts Committee is to make sure that similar mistakes do not happen again. 

It's simply something which has gone terribly wrong.

In 1978, the lease for the building was purchased by the OPW from CIE for £70,000. When the lease expired in 1981, the OPW made a claim for damages which was settled for £550,000. As part of this settlement, the OPW bought the building for £50,0000. At the same time, the OPW incurred heavy legal and professional fees as a result of the claim. It was planned the building would be used by the National Library of Ireland.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 21 July 1988. The reporter is Una O'Hagan.