You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Simon Harris apology branded 'shambolic' by Mary Lou McDonald

Dublin Live logo Dublin Live 12/02/2019 Ferghal Blaney

a man wearing a suit and tie: Health Minister Simon Harris said individuals could face sanctions over National Children’s Hospital cost overruns (Niall Carson/PA Wire) © Niall Carson Health Minister Simon Harris said individuals could face sanctions over National Children’s Hospital cost overruns (Niall Carson/PA Wire) Simon Harris has apologised to the Dáil for misleading the Dáil about the rocketing costs of the National Children’s Hospital project - but it has been rejected by Sinn Féin as “shambolic.”

The price for the hospital soared from just shy of €1billion in 2017, before going up to over €1.4billion late last year.

Minister for Health Mr Harris knew the project was coming in hundreds of millions over in August, but failed to tell anyone until November.

This included when he was asked by Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen in September if the project was on budget.

Mr Harris has now apologised to the Dáil for not telling it like it was back then.

He said: “I now want to refer to a Parliamentary Question I answered on the record of this House on the 18th September 2018 about the National Children’s Hospital project.

“The timeline of information available to me is well established because I have published relevant documents in order to be fully transparent.

a man in a suit standing in front of a building: Health Minister Simon Harris and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe speaking at Government Buildings on Monday evening after the Labour Court intervention in the nurses’ dispute (Michelle Devane/PA Wire). © Provided by The Press Association Health Minister Simon Harris and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe speaking at Government Buildings on Monday evening after the Labour Court intervention in the nurses’ dispute (Michelle Devane/PA Wire). “At the time of answering, I was not in a position to give commercially sensitive figures but, as I said at the Health Committee last week, I should have answered it more fully as it would never be my intention to mislead this House.

“I should have added further detail to inform that a process was ongoing to finalise costs and that updated costs would be known when that process concluded.

“I apologise for not doing this.

“I have always tried to approach my work in this House, and especially as Health Minister, in a collaborative way.

“I want to acknowledge the constructive contribution of colleagues on many issues, including this one.

“I take the need for accountability very seriously.

“I account for my actions and decisions, and I will ensure others are held to account for theirs.

“But I hope we can find a way to unite around our common goal to complete this vital project which has been so long promised and which will transform children’s healthcare.

“I will be happy to work together with members on all sides in the service of that aim.”

a man wearing a suit and tie: Health Minister Simon Harris (Niall Carson/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Health Minister Simon Harris (Niall Carson/PA) Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald is not buying the apology and called once again on the Taoiseach to sack the minister.

“It is a democratic imperative that Ministers are held accountable by this Dáil, and that they can be removed by this Dáil if that is what it so decides.

“That is absolutely essential.

“The record of the Minister for Health is not a great one.

“It’s not even a good one.

“It is, truth be told, a shambolic one, which merits a motion in this Dáil and affords us an opportunity to assess the Minister’s record.”

NOW READ:

'My kids will grow up without a father' - widow of young dad found dead in alley (Independent.ie)

Meghan Markle: Kensington Palace 'takes legal advice' after dad leaked her letter (Mirror)

Theresa May ‘to quit this summer’ in bid to prevent Boris taking over (Daily Mail)

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Dublin Live

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon