The cost of the National Children's Hospital could rise by 40% due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it has been warned.
Speaking at the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19, the head of the Construction Industry Federation Tom Parlon told Labour Deputy Duncan Smith that he had "been told by industry figures" that the cost of the €1.7 billion project could rise by 40%.
That would add €680 million to the already over-budget project.
Mr Smith called the figure "astronomical", to which Mr Parlon said that it was crucial now that the Office of Government Procurement coordinate a response to rising costs on major sites.
Speaking about the return of construction yesterday, there was no "big bang" on the country's building sites, Mr Parlon said.
Mr Parlon said the return was done in a "sensible and practical" manner. Speaking to the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19, Mr Parlon said that the outbreak of the virus had "paralysed" the industry, but that construction firms wanted to return to work safely. He added that this return would take some time to scale up to previous levels.
"Larger contractors allowed a reduced workforce on site yesterday to assess sites, test new measures and embed new protocols in safety culture. It will take months for the industry to reach previous output levels."
Mr Parlon appealed to the public to support the return to work by construction workers.