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Were there no adults in the room when they drew up the National Development Plan?

Colm McCarthy


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Former transport minister Martin Cullen back in 2006, at the launch of the public consultation on Metro North

Former transport minister Martin Cullen back in 2006, at the launch of the public consultation on Metro North

Former transport minister Martin Cullen back in 2006, at the launch of the public consultation on Metro North

A depressing litany of cost overruns on major projects has damaged the credibility of public-capital spending in Ireland. In an unconscious acknowledgement, Monday’s relaunch of the National Development Plan (NDP) was broadcast from Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium — where the redevelopment cost €110m, versus the budgeted figure of €70m.

Stripped bare, there are two essentials in the effective oversight of large capital projects. There should be a cost estimate  easy in some cases and harder in others, but an honest shot at the bill for the scheme. No cost estimates were furnished for most of the larger items on Monday, not even the customary over-optimistic guesses.


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