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Irish Water to spend a further €35m on consultants by 2015

QUESTIONS: John Tierney By Sam Griffin and Niall O'Connor

IRISH water is to spend €85m on consultants and legal services by April 2015.

The organisation will be grilled by the Oireachtas environment committee today on it's spend to date and into the future.

It is understood that Irish Water spent €44.8m on contracts with IBM.

An estimated €17.2m will go to Accenture with Ernst & Young getting €4.6m.

Early reports from briefing documents ahead of the committee meeting outlined that A&L Goodbody will receive €2.9m, KPMG will get €2.2m and McCann Fitzgerald solicitors would get €970,000.

A further €13.3m is "covered by another 18 contractors who were procured"

Senior executives at Irish Water will have to explain the breakdown today and to the Public Accounts Committee tomorrow where they will be quizzed on the €50m consultancy bill.

Meanwhile, the Herald can reveal that the controversial rollout of water meters in Irish homes is behind its target to have 1.1m properties fitted out with the appliances by the end of 2016.

Senior representatives from Irish Water, including Chief Executive John Tierney, will be attending today's hearing where they will provide a briefing on the set up costs of Irish Water.

Ffigures released to the Herald, revealed 85,000 homes have now been fitted with water meters since the first meter was installed in a house in Kildare last August.

Since the first appliance was installed, Irish Water is averaging an installation rate of 17,000 meters per month.

If that rate of installation was to continue, Irish Water would have installed meters in just under 700,000 Irish homes by the end of 2016 – 400,000 homes short of the target figure.