From top: Denis Naughten (left) and David McCourt; Michael Noonan

Denis Naughten had at least two additional meetings with David McCourt during the procurement process for the National Broadband Plan (NBP), it has emerged.

The former communications minister’s diary shows that he and the Irish-American businessman met in October 2016, when three potential bidders remained in the running for the lucrative rural broadband contract. There are no minutes of the October meeting, which was also attended by officials.

Denis Naughten held further talks with businessman (The Times Ireland Edition)


Former Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan met with representatives of Enet, including former government Press Secretary and PR advisor Eoin O’Neachtain, in December 2016 – three months before Denis Naughten made the decision to extend the Municipal Area Networks (MANs) contracts to Enet ” suddenly and without tender”.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said:

“In a series of parliamentary replies to me, including a schedule showing all meetings between either David McCourt, representatives of Enet, and the Department of Communications, it is clear that there was almost an open door policy in Government buildings for Enet and/or David McCourt.

I have said previously that we need to understand the rationale for the former Minister’s decision to extend the MANs contract – which is essentially the precursor to the NBP process – when he did because soon after that contract extension the State bought into Enet at a cost of approximately €200 million and it is important to understand if that extension materially affected the price paid by the State for its 78% purchase of Enet in 2017.

To learn now that the former Minister for Finance met with Enet officials about the MANs just 3 months before the MANs contract was extended in the way it was raises more questions and this is why I have asked the Taoiseach to extend any review of the NBP process to date to include a review of the process leading up to the NBP; namely the MANs contract.”

Previously: Courting David

23 thoughts on “Enter Noonan

      1. millie st murderlark

        “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

        That’s why.

        1. Boj

          Well every time I see him I reminded of Grace, Bridget McCole, Nama, Cerebrus, REITS, charity status for vulture funds, Apple tax etc. Attacks on vulnerable people along with a litany of sweet deals for big business while the state was on it’s knees. But yeah, he looks ugly too…and sunbeams…guffaw

          1. Ann Moles

            I would have to acknowledge that it is a nightmare every time his name crops up. He is responsible for so much pain and heartache. The women in the Blood Transfusion scandal and the young vulnerable Grace. Why would anyone do this to her.
            Is money his only gratification in life. How does his children feel about their father or has his only goal been greed I am so grateful to have a father who is not remotely like this awful person

        1. :-Joe

          Ok.. that’s good to know.. but were we talking about trolls?

          I happen to like trolls, the self-cleaning bacterium of the internet… most of the time.


  1. ollie

    the State bought into Enet at a cost of approximately €200 million
    Is this true? The Start provided the funding to establish ENAT and build the MANs, did we really pay twice for this Company?

      1. Cian

        Is there a conflict of interest for one arm of the state to award a tender to a company 78% owned by another arm of the State?

        1. Otis Blue

          Certainly seems odd.

          At that level of investment it also raises the question as to why the State doesn’t build and own the fiber network itself.

  2. martco

    the dirty greasy till merchants
    just imagine the capers don’t get to hear about

    the dark lord there makes CJH look good
    :) goes to show how easy it is to forget sometimes…I had to doublecheck he was still alive…he is still alive, yes?

  3. Jim

    Afternoon ladies & gentlemen, I’ve never commented and honestly never being tempted to before as it’s not my preference to do so in such a forum but have always fully appreciated this platform and it’s varied contributors & BTL commentary.


    I must ask do I have this right…what was once our national pension reserve fund bought into Enet a few years ago post agreeing a state contract (therefore possibly at a premium given future guaranteed revenue) and currently holds the 78% majority position in the entity, and this is the exact same entity (not fully sure of its current legal status; co., fund, etc…) that is now bidding for the national broadband contract?

    Have I that roughly correct?
    This is simply, off the scale, nuts. A banana republic doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the levels of wrong here. Once I saw Noonan’s name now being joined to this affair I know it is possibly naive of me to be in any way shocked but I am absolutely jaw on the floor flabbergasted at the quagmire of corruption at play here.

    I can say no more and a part of me hopes I’m mistaken in some of the above assumptions.

    Also to BS and the support crew, please keep the flame alive as this ex-centre-right corporate man whore striving to bit by bit step off the treadmill needs on occasion to see there’s a few more that sometimes think the same way.

    Peace and pick up the phone to that aul buddy or ex-bestie sometime… hopefully it’ll surprise you but at least you made the effort.

    Here ends the sermon.

    (you can see why I never ever comment so we might put it down to being a first time dad of a now 2 year old and finally cracking from the tiredness…)

    1. Otis Blue

      You’re pretty much correct although Enet are part of the consortium bidding for the NBP. The consortium is headed by Granahan McCourt which is headed by David McCourt, and which itself owns the remaining 22% of Enet. David McCourt is also Chairman of Enet. Redacted’s Actavo recently joined the consortium.

      Anyway, don’t worry because a senior civil servant in the Department is conducting a review to see if the procurement process has been compromised.

      It’s their World, we just live in it.

  4. :-Joe

    Looking at that photo, I can muster up similar clothing from somewhere and pad it out but does anyone know where I could fashion a Mickey Noony replica mask or something close from, for Halloween?..

    A few pints and a stroll around the city scaring the life out of people sounds like a bit of a laugh…

    Imagine the scene…
    1.Stare at the photo above on full-screen…
    2.Listen to this in the background
    – or adjust to your own preference or taste..
    3. Embrace the chilling spookyness of our shared reality….


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