Thursday, 7 February 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
At yesterday's Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health the Secretary General, Jim Breslin, said that he received a formal briefing from the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board on the serious risk of the cost overrun. I understand that three days later Mr. Breslin met with the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, and the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, at a meeting in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The cost overrun was fresh in his mind. Two issues have occurred here: the Secretary General withheld very serious and important information regarding this capital cost overrun or the Ministers knew unofficially and they are not admitting to that. Either one of these has happened and I want the Minister to bring clarity to that matter. Clearly the biggest capital cost overrun in the State was known to officials in June but we have no information or clarity on the issue and it is important that the Government brings clarity to the House. The Minister for Finance, Deputy Paschal Donohoe, has said that he knew nothing of it until November, three days after the Secretary General received a briefing. Is the Minister saying that Mr. Breslin did not mention a word about the children's hospital at that meeting?