The board responsible for the development of the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin has begun legal action against the construction company BAM Ireland.
The dispute is centered on the validity of an alleged instruction given by the board to begin above ground works over a year ago.
In a statement the board says BAM has disputed the validity of this instruction, and after exhausting their agreed dispute management process, they’ve decided to take legal action.
In order to "rigorously defend the public purse", it says it was left with no option to take this course of action.
In a statement tonight BAM said they had been made aware that proceedings have been commenced by the NPHDB seeking declaratory relief in respect of the issue of the validity of the Instruction issued by the NPHDB in January 2019 for BAM to commence Phase B of the NCH project.
"This issue arises primarily due to the fact that the contract, which was signed in August 2017, required NPHDB to provide BAM with a complete fully coordinated design before the Instruction would be issued.
"In the event, as is recognised by the PWC Report commissioned by Government to investigate the issue of cost overruns on the project, the NPHDB issued the Instruction to commence Phase B despite the fact that the design was not provided as required by the contract. At today’s date, the design is still not complete.
The statement went on: "As the parties have been unable to agree on this issue, BAM welcomes the fact that the issue will now be subject to a proper and careful analysis, and ultimately resolution, by the Courts.
"BAM agrees that it is important that these issues be resolved so that all parties can concentrate on the delivery of this vital project to the highest standard in the shortest possible period. "