Labour seeks clarity over Granahan-McCourt investment in broadband plan

Labour is demanding to know what the consortium leading the €5bn broadband project will put up front as the party warned that a tribunal may rake over the costs and deal for the project in a decade.

The Government has agreed to ask the Granahan-McCourt consortium, the preferred and only bidder for the project, if details can be published about its investment for the broadband plan.

This comes after confusion and criticism over the consortium's investment, which Agriculture Minister Micheal Creed said last week could be as low as €200m for a €3bn State payment for the project.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said today: “What is Granahan-McCourt bringing to the table? Why are they getting this incredible deal? Micheal Creed let the cat out of the bag.”

Mr Howlin wants the State to take control of the project and says there is nothing “commercially sensitive” preventing the Government releasing the figures about the Granahan-McCourt bid.

Mr Howlin said Leo Varadkar is “beginning to sound like [Donald] Trump every day”, after the Taoiseach in recent days claimed that the Opposition calls for the State to run the plan is a “fake" promise.

The Labour leader also suggested that the broadband debacle will be the subject of a tribunal in a decade's time.

Labour wants the Government to set up a State-owned broadband company that would own the infrastructure instead of paying €3bn for another business to own it after 25 years, as is envisaged under the current plan.

Mr Howlin said the State could also access funds from the European Investment Bank to help finance the project and that it would eventually recoup the billions of euro put into the plan.

Communications Minister, Richard Bruton, is set to take questions on the plan and bid later today at the Oireachtas Communications Committee.

More on this topic

LEO satellites could offer potential solution to Irish National Broadband Plan

Fianna Fáil: Timescale for broadband roll-out 'not acceptable'

5G would not meet the needs for everyone living in rural Ireland, says regulator

Cost of broadband plan ‘could be reduced by €1bn’

More in this Section

70% of people in UK believe gay couples should be able to marry in NI

Major flaw in laws prohibiting resale of NAMA properties to developers revealed

Technical group established to look at Brexit backstop alternatives

GRA: Armed units not a long term solution in Longford


The history of eyelashes: The tiny hairs that hold huge sway in the beauty industry

Painting found in attic could fetch €150 million

Life in a vacuum: Your guide to choosing vacuum cleaners

Bright ideas: How to wear the summer tailoring trend

More From The Irish Examiner