Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Public Accounts Committee

2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport

9:30 am

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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On the opening comment, why has the interconnector tunnel not happened already? The old Great Southern and Western Railway terminated at Heuston Station. It needs to be connected. It went to railway order in approximately 2015. It is only a comment. It is the game changer and the missing piece, which is not to say the western rail corridor is not important, but this requires to be done. Will Mr. Spratt give us a note on how much of the previous work in bringing it to railway order level can be reused if there is an evaluation?

On the rollover and the extension of the search and rescue, it is due. It is 2012 to 2022 and there is an option of another three years. A lead-in piece has to be done. In terms of the capital cost, did the Department or the State fund any of the capital costs for the purchase or financing of helicopters? If so, is there an ownership? I know there is a depreciation of approximately 25 years on these.

Does the State own any assets? If a new company comes in or if it is split between State-run and a combination of State-run and private sector, there will be a training component. Is this component built into the cost? I find it quite difficult to see how this rolls over without there being sizeable work. Are there any assets?