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Dublin: -1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019

Phil Hogan 'personally signed off on' funding relating to Irish Water consultants

New documents have reportedly revealed that he was aware of the spend as far back as December 2012.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS HAVE revealed that Phil Hogan signed off on funds relating to Irish Water consultancy pay in 2012, RTÉ’s This Week programme reports.

In January of this year, Hogan, then the Minister for Environment and now an European Commissioner-Designate said that while he aware of the overall cost, he was not aware of the consultancy spend.

It followed Irish Water CEO John Tierney’s admission that €50 million had been spent on consultants.

This new document, drawn up in December 2012 by a senior official in the Department of Environment, Community, and Local Government, was an update on the implementation of Irish Water and other water service reforms.

It notes a sum of €43.5 million from which “external consultants” were to be paid, although the exact breakdown was not provided.

This was also to cover billing systems and call centres.

This new document is said to contain Phil Hogan’s signature, in a box labelled “seen and approved by”.

Hogan, facing calls for his resignation, defended the multi-million spend, saying that you “can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”, and said he was not aware of the exact details as he did not “micro-manage” Irish Water.

The same programme reported earlier this month that Hogan knew that tens of millions were to be spent on other external services during the set-up of Irish Water.

We’ve reached out to Phil Hogan for comment on this story. Originally published 4.09pm

Read: Irish Water’s spokeswoman answers the public’s questions on Prime Time tonight >

More: Michael Noonan was told to scrap water charges in the Budget. Here’s how he took it… >

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Nicky Ryan

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