Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment Barry Cowen has said Minister Phil Hogan needs to come before the Environment Committee as a matter of urgency to explain the latest revelations surrounding the establishment of Irish Water.

“We have learned today that the Department of the Environment knew in September 2012 that Irish Water included a figure of €85m for external consultant costs.  Yet Minister Hogan claimed the €50m figure that emerged last week surprised him and he thought it was excessive.  It is not credible in the least that the Minister was not aware of this.

“Are we really to believe that the Minister was not involved in signing-off on costs on this scale to rush the establishment of Irish Water, including seizing control of billions of euro in water infrastructure assets from local authorities?

“The Minister should immediately make himself available to the Oireachtas Environment Committee so that he can be held accountable and explain what he knew on the issue of consultants cost and when he knew it.”