Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach
I will deal with each of those queries in turn. First I wish to address my responsibility in relation to individual projects, particularly those above a certain scale. They are tracked by the different teams in my Department that shadow each Vote. I fully accept my responsibility for the use of taxpayers' money for this or any other project. That is why the decision I ultimately made on this project was a very difficult one. As I became engaged in this issue the available choices concerning the project's future were very profound. I was aware that the decision to make more funding available, on which Deputy Doherty is now questioning me, would raise questions about the future of the project and how it has been managed. This project was rare in that it had a separate governance structure in the form of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board. The reason for that body was the number of other children's hospitals involved in this project, as the Deputy knows. To be clear, regardless of what point of the process I am involved in, responsibility for the use of taxpayers' money is mine.