Thursday 19 October 2017

€30m state contract on way to scandal-hit firm

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Q IARNROD Eireann plans to award a €30m maintenance contract to a company previously fined for its roles in a major UK rail disaster and a fraud investigation.

The Dail Transport committee heard that the company was involved in a tender process to award a contract to Balfour Beatty. Balfour Beatty was fined £7.5m (€8.7m) after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act after the Hatfield train disaster in October 2000, in which four people died and 102 were injured.

The company had been responsible for track maintenance, and a broken rail caused the derailment of a train.

Separately, it was also fined £2.2m (€2.5m) after accounting irregularities were found during construction of a library in Alexandria, Egypt.

Concerns were raised by TD Shane Ross, who said it was "astonishing".

Iarnrod Eireann chief executive David Franks said that two companies qualified to complete the works, and that one had pulled out of the process.

Irish Independent

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