People of Cork deserve straight answers on Events Centre “debacle”

THE people of Cork deserve some straight answers on the debacle that has unfolded around the planned Events Centre in the city, according to local Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath.

Deputy McGrath commented, “Like the vast majority of people in Cork, my sole interest in this is to see the Events Centre project proceed because I recognise how significant this project is for Cork City and County. An enormous amount of work has been put into the project so far and we all want to see cranes on the site building this Events Centre without any more delay.

“A year after the sham ‘sod turning’ event (on the eve of the general election), we now learn from Minister Simon Coveney that more public money may be needed to get this project moving. It begs the obvious question as to why the sod was turned last year given that no contracts whatsoever were in place and everything was clearly not nailed down. This is the first time that the need for further public money, on top of the €20m already committed, has been put forward publicly as a reason for the delays in the Events Centre.

“The repeated reassurances we have been given in the past twelve months that all was in order and the project was about to advance have now been completely discredited. It is obvious there are serious issues around the financial viability of the project. Otherwise the question of extra public money would not arise.

“I note that BAM are due to present to the City Council the week after next. The full story about why the Events Centre hasn’t happened and what exactly is needed to make it happen must be laid bare so that a proper assessment can be done. The people of Cork deserve no less given the repeated assurances they have been given that all was going according to plan,” concluded McGrath.