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Saturday 23 March 2019

Tierney snub to TDs over probe into Poolbeg

Irish Water chief executive John Tierney
Irish Water chief executive John Tierney

Niall O'Connor

Irish Water chief John Tierney has rejected for a second time a request to appear in front of TDs in relation to his role in the disastrous Poolbeg Incinerator.

The Irish Independent has learned that Mr Tierney wrote to the Oireachtas Environment committee this week and declined an invitation to attend.

It is the second time this year that he has turned down the committee's request to answer questions relating to his role in the project, which has already cost the taxpayer €108m.

The former Dublin City Manager is understood to have told the committee that while the EU authorities are investigating elements of the Poolbeg project, he is precluded from attending. The European Commission last year launched two separate probes into Poolbeg – which examined the issues of State aid and procurement.

Commission officials last month confirmed that the project did not involve a breach of state aid rules, however, the investigation into the issue of procurement is still ongoing.


The Committee had hoped Mr Tierney would appear following the conclusion of the first investigation, however, he has maintained that his position has not changed. He is understood to have given no firm commitment as to whether he will attend in the future.

The CEO of Irish Water spent seven years as Dublin City Manager and played a key role in the decision making process surrounding project. TDs are concerned about revelations that there are no records of minutes from crucial project meetings involving senior Dublin City Council officials, as well as the fact that €30m was spent on consultancy.

Last night, members of the committee insisted they would continue to seek to speak to Mr Tierney over his involvement in the incinerator. Irish Water did not provide a comment in time for going to press.

Irish Independent

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