People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny says it is incredible the HSE has awarded a €14 million contract to Western Building Systems to build a new wing at University Hospital Limerick despite being sued by the Department of Education for structural defects in schools which they built.

The TD for Dublin Mid West pointed out that some of these schools are located in his constituency.

He said this affair shows that government departments and agencies have “no clue” what the others are doing.

“I find this situation quite incredible that a company who are being sued by one government department being granted a lucrative contract for the construction of a new wing at University Hospital Limerick by the HSE,” Deputy Kenny said.

“This shows that the government either haven’t got a clue what each of its departments are doing or they think it is alright for a company who have shown to have cut corners in schools they built for the Department of Education.

“Gaeilscoil Eiscar Riada and Lucan East Educate Together National School are two schools in my constituency that were built by Western Building Systems and found to have structural flaws last year.

“The flaws in Eiscar Riada were identified as needing external and internal intervention. This could have resulted in a catastrophe, and the irresponsibility of this company should not be forgotten.

“I am calling on the HSE to retract their awarding of this €14 million contract to Western Building Systems.

“It is simply unacceptable that they would even consider letting them build any more publically used buildings, when their track record shows a blatant disregard for the safety of those who use them.”

In response to a query from Dublin Gazette this week, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said:

“I can’t give you an update on individual schools at the moment.

“A small number of schools in the remediation programme may not be able to re-open on their scheduled date but those decisions will be made by the principals and communicated to the school body in the first instance.

“Efforts are ongoing to minimise disruption.”