Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

18.20 15 Feb 2019


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The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board has said it is "committed to delivering the new children's hospital."

The board is responsible for building the new hospital.

In a brief statement on Friday, it said: "The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is committed to delivering the new children's hospital.

"We have nothing further to add at this time."

It comes after the building contractor behind the new hospital project has insisted it did not benefit inappropriately from the tender process.

BAM Ireland also said it will cooperate if the hospital board asks it to pull out of the project.

The project on the campus of St James's Hospital looks set to cost €1.7bn - some €450m over previously estimated budgets.

An independent review of the overrun is currently being carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

BAM is the lead contractor on the project, having been awarded the contract for the hospital in 2017.

In a statement, BAM Ireland CEO Theo Cullinane said earlier: "BAM wishes to confirm that it did not benefit inappropriately from the tender process and much of the commentary is based on incomplete and inaccurate information.

"BAM will fully engage with PwC to ensure all relevant facts are disclosed."

In the Dáil on Tuesday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claimed the Government was concerned that some companies "have been low-balling, coming in with very low tender prices to get the contract and then coming back with claims thereafter".

BAM says its now written to Mr Varadkar to "respectfully request him to clarify" that he was not referring to the company in the Dáil.

Earlier this week, the Government was urged by TD Mick Wallace to re-tender the new hospital.

He told the Dáil it is time the project is halted and re-tendered.

"Tánaiste, you're talking about learning lessons for the future - well I'd like you to learn then for the present.

"Cause I would argue if you stop now - which you're allowed to do, it's in the terms of the contract - I suggest that you could save yourselves in the region of a half a billion if you re-tender it".

The statement from the BAM CEO noted: "BAM will continue its commitment to the New Children’s Hospital and the confidence of all parties involved is a vital requirement for the company.

"BAM wishes to advise the hospital board that if it would prefer to opt out of this contract and procure the work in some other way, then BAM will cooperate with them to facilitate this option."

Additional reporting: Jack Quann


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