Dogged determination

The obsessive TD behind Siteserv revelations was asking the same questions last December

Catherine Murphy has been investigating the latest political controversy for sometime.

THE SITESERV CONTROVERYSY has been blown wide open this week after revelations, uncovered initially by the independent TD Catherine Murphy, about the strained relationship between IBRC and the Department of Finance.

A review of a number of large IBRC transactions, including the controversial sale of Siterserv to the Denis O’Brien-owned Millington for €45 million in 2012, will now be undertaken by the bank’s liquidators.

Murphy spoke extensively about her work on this issue in an interview with earlier this week.

black ink

But this is not something she just stumbled across or was handed to her.

It has been the result of months of painstaking work by the Kildare North deputy and her two dedicated parliamentary assistants.

As far back as last December, Murphy raised questions about the deal on the Dáil floor.

Having been thwarted with “anaemic” answers to parliamentary questions to the Department of Finance, she raised the matter with the Taoiseach at Leaders’ Questions on 10 December 2014. Take a look:

Catherine Murphy TD / YouTube

In her question, Murphy wanted to know how GMC/Sierra, a company which did not come into existence until 15 July 2013, managed to win a contract for the installation of water meters when the closing date for applications was 30 June 2013.

“How could a company that did not satisfy the requirement to have a tax clearance certificate be considered for the contract?” she asked.

Then her concluding question was one we’ve all been asking this past week:

Why did IBRC choose to accept a bid from Denis O’Brien’s Millington for Siteserv when it was actually the lowest of the bids and resulted in a loss to the State of €105 million?

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s response was short and to the point:

I do not have the answers to her questions. I will take the Deputy’s questions, though, and find the answers for her from Irish Water.

He noted that he hoped she would not receive “a watery reply”.

But nearly five months on and we’re still waiting for the full answers to the questions Murphy raised last year.

Background: The curious case of an ‘obsessive’ TD, the state losing millions, and a Denis O’Brien company

Revealed: How Michael Noonan’s confidence in IBRC bosses was ‘wearing quite thin’

Explainer: What exactly is Siteserv – and why is everyone talking about it?

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