Tánaiste expects legal advice on events centre funding 'this week'

Tánaiste expects legal advice on events centre funding 'this week'
Hoarding at the site of the proposed events centre. Picture taken from South Main Street.Picture: Denis Minihane.

TÁNAISTE Simon Coveney said he expects legal advice this week on a request for increased State funding to cover the costs of the Cork events centre.

Project developers, BAM, had previously requested €18m to add to the €20m of Government money which had already been allocated.

However, it is believed that €10m was the maximum Cork City Council could request, without triggering a legal requirement to re-tender for the project.

The application is currently with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, having been submitted in October of 2017.

In response to a question from TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire seeking an update on the funding decision, Mr Coveney suggested the legal advice is imminent.

“I can understand the frustrations in Cork among business people and politicians. I thank people for their patience,” he said.

“We are making progress. We hope to receive legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General this week which will confirm legal advice received by Cork City Council which would allow the State’s contribution to be increased to make the project commercially viable.

“As soon as we get that confirmation and political decisions are made on the back of that advice we will let people know immediately,” he added.

However, with the Dáil now on summer recess. TD Mick Barry has called on the Tánaiste to deliver a final decision having promised one would be communicated before the Dáil break.

“There have also been countless deadlines — many announced by Minister Coveney — which have been made with fanfares and newspaper headlines but which have all passed without any delivery,” he said. 

“Another deadline has come and gone without a game plan for the city’s event centre.

“The Minister flagged the latest deadline and the least that can be done is for him to issue public comment on why the deadline has not been met,” he added.

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