Wednesday 17 January 2018

Shane Ross under fire for 'not reading report' on cuts to Bus Éireann

Taoiseach says Minister Ross was depending on newspaper reports

Bus Eireann is facing major cuts (stock photo)
Bus Eireann is facing major cuts (stock photo)
John Downing

John Downing

Transport Minister Shane Ross has not even read a report recommending drastic cuts to Bus Éireann, the Dáil heard today.

Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy warned that the State’s countrywide bus service risked being drastically reduced while private companies were allowed “cherrypick” lucrative routes.

Mr Troy said the Transport Minister had the name of briefing the Cabinet on the matter yesterday. But he had also said the Minister had not read the report by consultants, Grant Thornton, on the company.

“So what did the Minister actually brief the Cabinet on if he had not read the report?” Mr Troy asked.

The Fianna Fáil TD said he had yesterday photocopied the report and left in Mr Ross’s postal slot at Leinster House.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, countered that the Fianna Fáil TD was being unfair to Minister Ross.

“Ah, you’re being very hard on Minister Ross. You’re being very hard on him at the start of a new session,” the Taoiseach cajoled.

Mr Kenny said Bus Éireann had themselves commissioned the report and the Minister had not received it. He said Mr Ross had spoken to the Cabinet on the basis of newspaper reports on the consultants’ findings.

The Taoiseach defended the Government’s funding to Bus Éireann and insisted that the grant-aid section of the service was a success, He said Bus Éireann got an increased grant of €40m last year and carried 32 million passengers.

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