Tag Archives: Tom Parlon

Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation (CFI)

This morning.

On RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sarah McInerney, director general of the Construction Industry Federation Tom Parlon (top) said he misspoke when he told the special Covid-19 committee on Tuesday that construction costs may rise by 40%.

He said the 40% figure actually represented a loss in productivity.

He told Ms McInerney that he hadn’t clarified his comments since because he has been very busy.

Meanwhile, at Tuesday’s committee meeting, he said:

“The industry is building data centres, highly sophisticated pharmaceutical plants, IT plants and so on. The industry has suggested the extra cost to complete such projects while the very strict regime is in place could be as much as 40%.

“One of the big sites had 1,800 people on site. Under the new physical distancing measures, the maximum allowed will be 500 to 600. That will extend the period of building. The cost of having cranes and other facilities on site will increase. That will have to be worked out.”

Later, he had this exchange:

Duncan Smith: “We all expect to live with these measures for an extended period of time. To clarify, Mr. Parlon is saying that the cost of a large complex project such as the children’s hospital could increase by 40% during the extended period in which we will be living with these measures.”

Tom Parlon: “People in the industry have said that to me. For the most complicated projects, the increase could be in the range of 40%.”

Also, later, he said:

“To clarify, I did not make that suggestion with regard to the children’s hospital. That will be subject to many negotiations. The Deputy mentioned the hospital but I referred to complex sites that will involve a great deal of fitting out. I am sure the children’s hospital will fit into that category. Some of our industry professionals have suggested the increase in cost for such projects could be as high as 40%. I am sure that is negotiable. That will all be worked out.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie


From top; Construction at the National Children’s Hospital; Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation [CIF]; Anthony Sheridan

Tom Parlon, former politician and Director General of the Construction Industry Federation [CIF] has come out as a comedian.

It’s not clear if Parlon intends continuing with his job at the CIF but the quality of his comedy sketch on yesterday morning’s Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One would surely indicate that he’s bound for global fame on the comedy circuit.

Basing his sketch on the Government’s open cheque book joke for contractors to build the National Children’s Hospital Parlon led with one of his oldest but most hilarious jokes.

This is the one about contractors, while struggling to make a few cents profit against all the odds, recklessly risking everything they possess in order to help out the national economy and those seeking to put a roof over their heads.

He continues with some brilliant one liners on why costs continue to rise into the stratosphere.

“It’s a busy, busy time for contractors.”

“There’s been some big accidents in China and elsewhere in the world.”

“Stuff is scarcer.”

“Contractors don’t get a penny more than they’re entitled to.”

[No, seriously, he did say ‘stuff is scarcer‘.]

And the new comic genius introduced a brand new type of joke – the one worder.

“Brexit,” snapped Tom and the audience fell about in stitches.

Before listeners could catch their breath with their laughing he followed up with some great new jokes.

The rising costs of the 2 billion hospital, said the budding comedian, can be compared to someone ordering a gear-change car and, when going to collect it, suddenly says:

‘Jesus, I want to change my mind and buy an automatic, only to discover that it will cost more.’

And, like all great comedians Parlon roped in a member of the audience to help him make his jokes even funnier.

After telling Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly that a delay in the delivery of fireboards had added substantially to cost overruns she helpfully asked:

“Tom, what percentage of the 1.7 billion overrun is down to the delay in fireboards?”… the

Hilariously, Tom responded:

“Haven’t a clue.”

Poor old Sean O’Rourke finally realised he had been set up by his producers. This wasn’t a serious interview analysing the out of control billions for the National Children’s Hospital.

It was the launch pad for Tom Parlon’s new career.

Listen to the full sketch here, highly recommended.

Anthony Sheridan is freelance journalists and blogs at PublicEnquiry.


 Bartra Capital’s planned redevelopment of the former CBS school in Eblana Avenue, Dun Laoghaire; Director General of the Construction Industry Federation of Ireland Tom Parlon


Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy was speaking at a Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and Department of Housing conference in Dublin when he defended the development of co-living apartment schemes.

These are blocks which allow for people to rent studio rooms – smaller than a disabled car parking space –  with communal facilities such as kitchens and laundries.

Planning permission is currently being sought for such apartment in Dun Laoghaire where the rent will be €1,300 a room.

Mr Murphy said the schemes are an “exciting” choice to young workers.

The matter was discussed on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke this morning with Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation of Ireland, architect Orla Hegarty and GP and Dublin City councillor Paddy Smyth taking part in the discussion.

Mr Parlon said there is interest among CIF members in constructing these schemes for developers and claimed this is the type of housing people aged 21 to 35 are seeking.

These types of developments are attracting capital, he said.

He added: “It wouldn’t be for me but…I think it’s important that we understand that there’s an absolute niche for this and it is a global trend.”

Ms Hegarty warned if planning permission for these schemes is granted the value of land involved would effectively double and this would make it less economic to build much-needed apartments.

She also said people renting the rooms for €1,300 would have to be earning a lot to pay that and possibly forgo any chance of saving for a deposit.

Ms Hegarty also said that this type of housing is “not a sustainable solution” as the buildings are very “inflexible” for future accommodation.

She added that building these types of apartment blocks could lead to further sprawl and institutionalise students, people who are in their 20s and 30s and elderly people.

Ms Hegarty said when this kind of model is built in other cities “it is regulated and contained”.

She explained: “What has happened here is it being completely deregulated and there’s a proposal [not granted yet] for 700 bed spaces in an industrial estate in Tallaght – 200 of which are within this model. Now that isn’t appropriate development.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: Co-Living In Dun Laoghaire

PArlon[Tom Parlon of the Construction Industry Federation]

The head of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) says house prices need to increase in order for the building of residential properties to become more cost effective.

Tom Parlon says it’s currently not viable to build a house for the price they are selling at.

The comments come following the release of figures today which show that the number of planning applications and new builds are down on 2013 levels.

House prices ‘need to increase’, says CIF head (Breaking News)

Previously: The Minsky Cycle And You