Newly released minutes show those involved in children’s hospital questioned if State could afford it days after Harris briefed on overspend
Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said it is ridiculous that no one acted or shouted stop when the crucial Joint Construction and Finance Sub-Committee for the children’s hospital project were questioning whether the State could afford the cost.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Long awaited minutes from the Joint Construction and Finance Sub-Committee have finally been released and shockingly they have shown that only three days after the Minister for Health was briefed about the catastrophic overspend on the hospital this pivotal sub-committee discussed whether the State could afford the project and whether it should proceed.
“These discussions should have taken place at cabinet level, but they didn’t take place until three months later due to a mix of inaction and incompetence by the Minister for Health.
“It is simply not credible, in my mind, that this sub-committee would be having these integral discussions just days after the Minister was briefed without all parties being aware of the severity of the situation and if the State could actually afford the project in its then guise.
“The responsibility for the delivery for this project and the overrun does not rest with any contractor; it rests with the Minister for Health and this government. Attempts to deflect responsibility by the Minister are as predictable as they are feeble.
“Furthermore, the release of this new information raises more and serious questions about this project and it is quite ridiculous that this information has been drip-fed to TDs and the Oireachtas Health Committee weeks after committee discussion have taken place on this issue.
“However, one thing is certain, with every release of new documents and information it becomes even more apparent that the Minister for Health is out of his depth and must be removed from his position.”