Saturday 23 March 2019

Leinster House refurbishment is the latest Government project to run over budget

Leinster House (Stock picture)
Leinster House (Stock picture)
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

The refurbishment of Leinster House is the latest Government project to run over budget, with costs expected to rise above the estimated figure of €15m.

Junior Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), said he has yet to receive an official figure for the final cost, which will be more than the initial estimate.

Appearing before the Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday, he said the nature of the work being carried out means it will not come in under budget.

"Leinster House has come in at €15m but after a tour of it today we do see the level of work taking place there and it will go above that [cost]," Mr Moran said.

"[By] how much I cannot say because there is a level of work there that wasn't foreseen."

He said further issues with the building have emerged as builders stripped back walls and discovered problem areas within the structure of the building, particularly around the roof and chimneys.

"It is a very slow process," he said. "I do see it coming in higher than €15m."

Hazards

Major refurbishments have been ongoing at the 273-year-old building for more than a year.

A 2006 report identified a number of fire hazards at Leinster House.

Financial constraints meant work only commenced last year after the Seanad was moved next door to the National Museum of Ireland.

Mr Moran told the committee that his department has been tasked with finding €3m to reallocate to the National Children's Hospital.

Mr Moran said the Leinster House refurbishment will not be affected, but the money will come from the extra €9m allocated to flood relief measures in this year's budget.

He said that the €3m will be spread out across flood relief schemes and the affected schemes will be delayed by weeks as opposed to months.

Irish Independent

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