The Labour Party has insisted it knew nothing about the €20,000 refurbishment of the mayoral chambers in Cork’s City Hall before the work was sanctioned.
The comments came from party sources yesterday as lord mayor, Labour Cllr Catherine Clancy, remained tightlipped on the project.
Ms Clancy has refused to comment on any aspect of the project, or respond to widespread criticism of the works which are under way at a time when the council is struggling to balance its books ahead of its 2014 budget meeting next month.
The Irish Examiner revealed the exact cost of the works yesterday, how the project was not advertised, and how three firms were invited to tender for the project.
City Hall said the contract for the “minor upgrade works” was procured via the city architect’s department in accordance with the requirements of the Capital Works Management Framework.
“As the value of the work was well below the threshold requiring advertising, three local contractors were invited to submit tenders and the contract was awarded to the lowest tenderer — €18,575 excluding Vat,” it said in a statement.
The work to replace and upgrade bathroom and kitchen finishes and fittings is due to finish on Nov 20.
Labour Cllr Denis O’Flynn said the first he and some of his party colleagues knew about the contract was when it was reported by the media.
“And I believe the lord mayor knew nothing about it either,” he said.
He accepted that it is difficult to defend the spending of such money on work like this at a time when the council is strapped for cash.
But he said “you’d be ashamed of your life” to bring ambassadors and other visiting dignitaries into City Hall where paint is flaking off the walls in some areas.
“It’s 75 years old and really needs attention in some parts. Rain was pouring in the roof and down the walls of the main stairs.”
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