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Whistleblower says builders paid by State are defrauding the welfare system

Education Minister Ruairí Quinn dealt with the claims raised by Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy at Leaders’ Questions today.

Education Minister Ruairí Quinn
Education Minister Ruairí Quinn
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

EDUCATION MINISTER RUAIRÍ Quinn has confirmed his officials are investigating claims that construction companies granted contracts by his department are committing social welfare fraud.

Speaking in the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions, Quinn responded to a series of claims raised by Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy.

Troy said in the Dáil that a whistleblower had made claims that contractors awarded construction projects by the Department of Education are failing to meet statutory obligations and facilitating social welfare fraud.

He cited a number of examples where he said that companies who win contracts are sub-contracting to firms who pay below the minimum wage and are defrauding the social welfare system.

Troy claimed that at one construction site in the midlands there is in excess of 19 people who are working but are also claiming social welfare.

Troy said that said that the whistleblower has already approached Quinn and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton but “nothing appears to have been done”.

Responding, Quinn said that he “is aware of these allegations” and is ensuring they are fully investigated. He said that some of the breaches being alleged “are not in fact happening” but said he was still not satisfied.

He said Troy had cited “clear incidents of the law being broken and clearly broken” and wanted the matter to be probed further by his officials. 

Read: Munster’s first Community National School to get under construction in record time

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Hugh O'Connell

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