Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the news that a company currently being sued by the Department of Education was awarded the contract to build the new 60 bed ward at University Hospital Limerick, as absolutely bonkers.

The Sinn Féin TD said:

“I had to pinch myself when I heard the news that a company who is currently being sued by the Department of Education have been awarded a new contract to build a new ward at University Hospital Limerick.

“While we don’t yet know to what extent Western Building Systems was responsible or not for the building defects found in the 42 schools they built for the state over the past number of years, the decision to award a new contract in the midst of all this controversy is absolutely bonkers.

“Like most people I would have assumed that until the full facts are established, current tenders from this company would be kept under review, and any new tender bids not accepted.

“Public safety is paramount and value for public money is incredibly important, but I am calling on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to address this issue as a matter of priority.

“Only a couple of weeks ago engineers identified structural flaws in 17 school buildings, including three in Dublin South West – Scoil Aoife Community National School (Citywest); Gaelscoil na Giúise; and Firhouse Educate Together. This is on top of the structural flaws in the newly built Scoil Caitlin Maude in Tallaght, that were identified last year.

“There is now an onus on government to tell us what is going on with these state building contracts.  It is absolute madness that one government Department is suing a building company and at the same time a different Department is awarding the same company another substantial contract.”