Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.37 6 Jan 2021


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The head of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has said essential projects such as housing and health will not be affected by new coronavirus restrictions.

The Cabinet is meeting to discuss the spread of the virus, with the closure of construction sites and schools for January among the decisions to be made.

Tom Parlon, director-general of the CIF, told Newstalk Breakfast he has been given assurances over essential projects.

"I was talking to a minister last night, and he assured me that housing will continue.

"Infrastructure like water [and] health projects will continue, education projects will continue.

"And clearly the big IT, pharma projects and so on".

But he said he was taken aback that the construction industry was set to be included in the latest measures.

"I was quite shocked last night to hear that construction was getting the hit that it is.

"We've had a lot of dialogue with Government, we have an exemplary record with regard to keeping COVID off sites".

He claimed that figures for the week ending December 14th showed that there were four cases and two outbreaks.

Mr Parlon said he "can't accept" claims from construction workers, who say they feel unsafe.

"Sites have been exceptionally managed, and the degree of effort put in - both by workers and by site owners, by construction companies - has been absolutely massive".

"The big spike that came happened since the construction industry closed down: we were closed down since the 23rd of December".

"So construction sites haven't been open for the last almost fortnight now"

On the impact to the industry, Mr Parlon said the last lockdown "caused us to lose about 5,000 new homes out of production".

"The output was cut by about 10% - which would be to the tune of about €3bn - so it is quite a severe hit on the industry and on the economy".

Main image: Tower cranes are seen on construction sites across Dublin. Picture by: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

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CIF Construction Construction Industry Federation Coronavirus Restrictions Health Construction Housing Newstalk Breakfast Tom Parlon

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