“It Smacks Of Not Learning Lessons From The National Children’s Hospital Shambles”

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Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy

This afternoon.

In the Dáil.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy raised the National Broadband Plan – for which there is one bidder – during Leaders’ Questions.

She raised concerns that while the plan was initially set to cost €500million, “the Government, and indeed, departmental officials have now conceded that the ultimate cost will be multiples of that”.

She asked Tánaiste Simon Coveney if certain projects from the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan will have to removed on account of the higher-than-envisaged costs of the NBP.

She added:

Are we likely to be bounced into something that will cost billions rather than hundreds of millions, purely because we’ve supposedly gone too far into a flawed process? It smacks of not learning lessons from the National Children’s Hosptial shambles.”

Ms Murphy then went on to ask – based on the Taoiseach saying the NBP may not go ahead in the event of a on-deal Brexit – if the NBP is a “casualty”, could this mean Project Ireland 2040 “requires a complete revision?”

She asked how much has been set aside by Project Ireland for the NBP.

And she asked, given it’s going to cost multiples of €500m, where the money will come from and what other projects will suffer as a result of the extra funding required.

Mr Coveney responded and said it’s clear the cost of the NBP is “not going to be cheap”.

“We now have to make a decision on whether we want to go ahead with it or not. The cost is high due to the significant ambition of the project and the scale of the build.”

Ms Murphy told Mr Coveney he didn’t answer any of her questions.

Mr Coveney said:

“With respect, it’s a bit unreasonable to ask what are the implications of the cost of this without knowing what the cost is. I don’t know what the cost is going to be. It hasn’t come before Cabinet yet. So I’m not able to give you that answer and without that answer I can’t give you an indication as to the implications of that cost for the 2040 plan. I would have thought that was self-evident.”

Watch Dáil proceedings live here

9 thoughts on ““It Smacks Of Not Learning Lessons From The National Children’s Hospital Shambles”

  1. Cian

    I know how to save the State 3 billion. Let’s NOT get the taxpayer pick up the bill for rural broadband.

    1. SOQ

      +1.

      Especially as there are reasonable satellite services already available.

      Anyways @ Bodger. Above says- in the event of a on-deal Brexit.

    2. realPolithicks

      Still pushing the “dial up internet connection” there cian? Is that what your handlers at fghq are telling you is coming?

  2. eoin

    That NCH where Denis O’Brien’s Siteserv was slated for its work under the contract? The NBP certainly smacks of not learning lessons because Denis O’Brien’s Siteserv is part of the consortium which is the only remaining bidder for the €3 billion contract.

  3. Walter Ego

    Anyone else concerned that soon enough DOB could have access to meta data of up to 400,000 people in Ireland? INM servers anyone?

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