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Dublin: 0 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Irish Water faces questions from Public Accounts Committee over funding

John Tierney, who appeared before the joint Oireachtas Environment Committee yesterday, will be back in Leinster House this evening to answer more questions on Irish Water’s finances.

CEO of Irish Water John Tierney arriving at Leinster House yesterday.
CEO of Irish Water John Tierney arriving at Leinster House yesterday.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

IRISH WATER’S FINANCES will come under the microscope again today when the body’s CEO appears before an evening sitting of the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.

John Tierney was grilled over the semi-state’s consultancy fees yesterday by the Oireachtas Environment Committee.

It was disclosed in a written submission to this committee that out of a budget of €180 million set aside for the establishment of Irish Water, €86 million had been spent on consultancy fees.

The CEO said these fees, including over €40 million to technology company IBM, were to put in place the “systems and processes necessary required to run the business”.

At the same meeting,  director of the Irish Water programme at Bord Gáis John Barry said that the Department of the Environment was made aware in January 2012 that outside consultants would be needed, however it was noted that the exact sums involved were not revealed despite repeated questions from TDs.

The figure was known to the Department in March 2013, something likely to come under scrutiny under this evening’s “review of systems of oversight and accountability in respect of exchequer funding to Irish Water”.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said that the establishment of Irish Water was going to incur costs, but that he “doesn’t micromanage” semi-state bodies.

  • You can watch this evening’s committee meeting online here in Committee Room 2 at 6.30pm.

Read: Freedom of Information will apply to Irish Water, as company insists all contracts are ‘fully compliant’ >

More: Government knew of outside consultants procured at Irish Water almost a year ago >

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Nicky Ryan

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