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McDonald calls for confirmation of probe into cost of National Children’s Hospital

20 January, 2019 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

The Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has welcomed reports which indicate that the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General will review the spiralling costs of the National Children’s Hospital.

McDonald called on the government to confirm that this probe will go ahead and to indicate a timeframe for it.

Deputy McDonald said:

“My colleague Pearse Doherty this week called for a full and public investigation into the overspend on the National Children’s Hospital.

“I am pleased therefore at reports which suggest that the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General is to conduct a review in this regard. This needs to be confirmed by government.

“The projected overspend represents a catastrophic failure of this government and those overseeing the project. The explanations given to the health committee were bordering on farcical and take no cognisance of the impact that this will have on the overall health budget.

“We need this hospital and we need it to be built as soon as possible. We also need accountability and oversight in the spending of public money. Transparency is key and questions must be asked in respect of the Minister and his relationship with the board – when did he find out about the overspend, why was it not anticipated and why has it been allowed to continue? 

“The Minister has adopted his trademark hands off approach and any investigation must focus on the role of the Ministers for Health and Finance.

“The proposed review must be short and sharply focused - we need to know how this catastrophic overspend was allowed by government to go unchecked.”

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