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Ferris questions awarding of Bord Gáis safety contract

18 January, 2012 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Energy Martin Ferris TD has questioned the awarding of a €400 million contract to a British company. He also drew attention to the fact that the chairperson of the sub-committee which awarded the contract acts for the company in question, and the fact that there is potential for significant job losses among Irish workers.

Deputy Ferris said “Balfour Beatty has an appalling record.

“In 1997 the company was fined £1.2 million following collapse of tunnel at Heathrow which they built.

“In 1999 it was fined £500,000 after a train derailed on section of line laid by them.

“In 2006 it was fined £7.5m after a train crash that cost 4 lives and 100 injuries on section of line they had ‘maintained’.

“In 2007 it was fined £180,000 after a fatal electrocution of one of their line maintenance workers.

“In 2008 it was fined £2.25 million after the Serious Fraud Office found them guilty of false accounting.

“In 2009 it was fined £5.2 million by Office of Fair Trading for corrupt practises in securing construction contracts.

“In the light of all of this, does the Minister believe that Balfour Beatty is a suitable company to be given the responsibility for the safety of the gas network?”

Minister Rabbitte stated that he would look into the information which Deputy Ferris referred to.

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