Cowen seeks clarity on projects hit by Children's Hospital overspend
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has sought clarification from the Government as to what projects will be affected by the National Children’s Hospital overspend.
Deputy Cowen criticised the Government’s use of cynical language such as “re-profiling” and “re-scheduling” of funds and said they must call them what they are, cuts.
“In recent days the Taoiseach accused members of the opposition of scaremongering people with talks of the knock-on effects of the overrun on projects in our constituencies. Yet the various Departments refuse to tell us which projects will be affected," Barry said.
“€3 million will be “re-profiled” under the flood risk management programme of the Office of Public Works but I want to know the bread and butter details of the projects affected. Flood relief and flood management works are ongoing and I am told that they will continue in the future on the River Shannon, but what projects are being lost?"
“€75k was recently announced to prepare a town centre regeneration project in Edenderry, when completed will the project move immediately to construction despite a cutback of €16 million in the sponsoring department?"
“A commitment was given to me about an arts centre in Tullamore. It was approved ten years ago, but given the €2 million ‘re-scheduling’ of payments related to certain capital works by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, it too might become a cropper of the National Children’s Hospital," he added.
“People in Tullamore need a commitment one way or the other in that regard. They have fundraised between €180,000 and €200,000 for the project to date. Will they have to raise the same amount again?"
“It would suit the Government better to answer these questions than to level criticism at those asking them,” concluded Deputy Cowen.