Minister Harris faces no-confidence motion


February 11, 2019

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  • A motion of no confidence in the Minister for Health is to be tabled by Sinn Féin.

    The party believes that Minister Simon Harris has misled the Government and the public in relation to what he knew about cost overruns at the new national children's hospital.

    At the weekend, a spokesperson for the Minister said that he would be making an apology to the Dail this week over the information he provided. This followed a call by Fianna Fáil leader, Micheal Martin, to apologise and correct the record of the Dail with regard to an answer he gave to a parliamentary question.

    The Minister's answer failed to indicate that the costs connected to the hospital were escalating.

    However, Sinn Féin has said that this apology is not enough and insists that there has been an absence of political accountability in relation to the costs controversy.

    The cost of building the hospital has jumped from €987 million in 2018 to €1.4billion now. However, this is without the hospital even being fitted out. The final cost could exceed €1.7 billion.

    The controversy has already led to the resignation of the chair of the National Hospital Paediatric Development Board, Tom Costello. He had held the role since 2013, but has now been replaced by the former head of the National Roads Authority, Fred Barry.

    A review into the cost overruns is currently being carried out by PwC.


    © Medmedia Publications/ 2019