Fianna Fáil calls for briefing on Cork events centre costs

Fianna Fáil has called for a full and open briefing on the controversial Cork events centre project before another cent of public money is pumped into it, writes Eoin English, Irish Examiner Reporter.

The party’s finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath, ramped up the pressure on the stalled project as the first anniversary of the sod turning passed without a brick being laid.

More than two years after €20m in public funding was sanctioned, and a year after the sod turning, building work has yet to start on the 6,000-seat venue, earmarked for the former Beamish and Crawford site on South Main St.

Mr McGrath said he now has concerns that a request for more state funding could have legal implications for the original tender process.

“Public confidence in this process has drained away over the last year. We are not going to be party to any more false starts,” Mr McGrath said.

“It is obvious the sod turning was a sham event.”

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney dismissed the criticism from those he accused of doing nothing to deliver an events centre for Cork during the boom.

He said he “accepts and appreciates the annoyance, frustration and anger” around the stalled process but insisted: “The Government will do what’s needed to make this happen.”

Developers BAM and venue operators, Live Nation, have agreed on final internal designs in recent days, and BAM is expected to sign off on final costings within days.

That is expected to trigger a formal request to Government for an increase of up to €10m in state funding.

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