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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019
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Ceann Comhairle's office splashes out almost €6,000 on new set of crockery for Oireachtas dining room

The fancy dinner service is used when entertaining visiting delegations.

ALMOST €6,000 HAS been spent on a Belleek pottery set for the dining room of the Ceann Comhairle in Leinster House.

The personalised dinner service was purchased to cater for delegations that come to visit Ireland and for other events hosted by the Dáil speaker Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

The final bill for the fine china came to €5,944.59, according to records obtained by Noteworthy, TheJournal.ie’s new investigative journalism platform.

The Oireachtas had originally refused to release details of the cost saying it could be financially damaging or “prejudice the competitive position” of either them or Belleek Pottery.

However, the invoices were eventually released following an internal review. The bill covers the cost of crockery for dinners for up to 40 people and is emblazoned with a golden harp surrounded by green circles.

The most expensive items were eight oval platters, each of which cost €45.

Ten Oireachtas tea pots were also bought, each costing €26.50, while four pitchers set the taxpayer back a combined €78.

Also charged on the invoice were 80 dinner plates, 40 saucers and side plates, 24 pasta dishes, 40 scallop plates, 12 salt and pepper sets, a cream jug, sugar bowl, and 40 cups.

The cost of imprinting Oireachtas logos on each of the items came to €160, according to a copy of the invoice.

In tender documents, it had originally been thought that provision of the crockery over a three-year period would cost up to €12,600.

However, the tender competition – which was won by Belleek ahead of two other bids – came in well below that estimate.

A spokesman for the Oireachtas said the final costs would include “breakages and replacements as necessary”.

Belleek Invoice Belleek Invoice

According to an article in the Irish News, the dinner set was part of a plan to source “European or Irish made bespoke products”.

As part of the design process, two new shapes for the dining service were created.

Leinster House Catering Manager Ken Nolan told the Irish News: 

We’d been looking for a dinner service that demonstrates the quality and unique design that highlights excellence in its craft and had a number of options available to us at similar cost, but Belleek came to the fore with their Galway Weave pattern.

“It seemed a great fit for the private dining room in Leinster House where the Ceann Comhairle … hosts events and dinners for visiting worldwide delegations.”

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Ken Foxe

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