Firms lose Luas court appeal

A joint venture which came second in the bidding for Dublin’s €368m cross-city Luas line has failed in a High Court challenge to the process of awarding the contract.

Portuguese construction company, Somague Engenharia and Co Mayo-based civil engineers Wills Brothers, who established a joint venture to bid for the project, came second in the tendering process for the 5.6km of track linking the existing Green and Red Luas lines and extending to Cabra.

The winners were another joint venture, Sisk Steconfer, comprising Dublin-based construction company, John Sisk & Son and Steconfer, a Portuguese construction company specialising in railway works.

Somague/Wills claimed the tender competition was vitiated by serious errors and breach of the rules on public procurement. It was accepted by them that it was primarily about damages and no application has been made that the contract be suspended pending the determination of their proceedings.

The case was against Transport Infrastructure Ireland which was formed by the merger of the National Roads Authority and the Railway Procurement Agency, under 2015 legislation.

The main grounds for the challenge by Somague/ Wills main were that Transport Infrastructure Ireland applied inapplicable and/or identified criteria to its qualitative assessment in relation to the tie-in of the new line with the existing Red Line to Tallaght.

It was also claimed that Transport Infrastructure Ireland failed to apply certain identified and applicable criteria or to properly engage a process involving the most economically advantageous tender.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland denied the claims and opposed the application for judicial review.

Ms Justice Marie Baker yesterday refused the Somague/Wills application She found there was no manifest error in how the tenders were evaluated.


Liz O’Brien talks to Niall Breslin about his admiration for frontline staff, bereavement in lockdown, his new podcast, and why it's so important for us all just to slow down.Niall Breslin talks about losing his uncle to coronavirus

Podcasts are often seen as a male domain — see the joke, 'What do you call two white men talking? A podcast'.Podcast corner: Three new podcasts from Irish women that you should listen to

Esther McCarthy previews some of the Fleadh’s Irish and international offerings.How to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the comfort of your own couch

Whether you’re on staycation or risking a trip away, Marjorie Brennan offers suggestions on novels for a wide variety of tastesThe best fiction books for the beach and beyond this summer

More From The Irish Examiner