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Taoiseach “dancing on the head of a pin” regarding Children’s Hospital overspend – Mary Lou McDonald

23 January, 2019 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

The Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has accused the Taoiseach of “dancing on the head of a pin” with respect to the impact of the Children’s Hospital cost overrun on community health projects.

McDonald said:

“The Taoiseach is dancing on the head of a pin. He must give a straight answer –  what projects will be cut because of the scandalous cost overrun in respect of the National Children’s Hospital?

“The projected cost overrun is at best a fiasco, and at worst, an example of gross incompetence on the part of government and those overseeing the project.

“What is most worrying is - despite the fact that this overrun is set to blow a hole in capital budgets for years to come - that nobody appears to be willing to take responsibility for it.

“The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform - whose function it is to supervise government procurement and public expenditure - has gone into hiding and its Secretary General has refused to appear before the Oireachtas Health Committee today to account for their role in the process.

“There is also massive concern in communities across the State about how the overspend will impact on them and on commitments made to fund projects that are badly needed.

“What about the commitment made for a new MRI scanner at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar? What about the second Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford? What about Drimnagh Primary Care Centre? I could go on and on.

“We need answers to these questions and most importantly we need the Taoiseach to act, without hesitation, and agree to undertake a full and public investigation into what has happened, and ultimately, who is responsible.”

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