Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 11 October 2018
Public Accounts Committee
Business of Committee
-----piece of land if there is a need for something in an area, but it must be separated in terms of value for money. The €12 million valuation we hear about is now only €12 million if it was for housing. In fact, it was a lower valuation if it was for something else. I think I recall €6 million being talked about, so it is actually multiples of what the valuation was when one considers that if it had been a site for a school, the amount of the valuation would have been an issue. What is really getting to be more than infuriating is that the word "candour" has been used in here and commercial sensitivity almost inhibits the candour we require of public bodies to hold them to account. They can come in here and validly say a matter is commercially sensitive and that they cannot tell us whether there is a valuation, and then it can end up in the newspaper. The whole issue of commercial sensitivity is therefore something we must find some way of defining or find a way through when we are trying to deal with an issue such as this. It feels to me like they bought something in Limerick, they ran into trouble, they were not getting the numbers in Limerick, they had to sell one of the assets, the asset that would get them out of trouble was Harold's Cross, but Harold's Cross would not get them out of trouble unless it was of a particular value, and it was not of that particular value if the valuation that appeared in the newspaper at the weekend was the true valuation. Can we go back and get a valuation on it, even at this stage?