OPW spending on Papal Visit needs to be fully detailed

27 November 2018

Labour Spokesperson on Heritage and Culture has called on the Chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee to invite the OPW before the committee to provide clarification on spending regarding the Papal Visit.

Commenting today Deputy Burton said;

“The Oireachtas Finance committee have received supplementary estimates of €20,000,000 required for the Papal Visit. The members of the Committee have asked that the Office of Public Works be called before the Finance Committee to explain the spending summaries relating to the Papal Visit.

“The bulk of the monies were spent on the Pheonix Park, and other venues used during the Papal Visit. Having read the accounts presented by the OPW today I have questions about who won the contracts for the events management and what criteria were used to assess the tenders.

“I raised the question about the public, and private events, held in the Phoenix Park and other venues managed by the OPW like Bloom in the Park, and concerts, and whether any of the generated capital goes back into the venues.

“Patrons are charged high entry fees to such events and yet it appears that the OPW and the Pheonix Park receive little of the funds generated, and are expected to find €20 million to invest in events such as the Papal Visit.

“The Office of Public Works did an excellent job of hosting the event. However, we need to see full details of the expenditure of the event and discuss this spending at the Committee. Some of the costs seem very high. We need a detailed breakdown and full accountability of the event.”

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