13 Aug 2022

Tyndall College controversy has created a 'massive conflict' in Carlow, says Senator

The comments were made at an Oireachtas committee

Carlow Carlow Carlow

The unfinished Tyndall College in Carlow

A Carlow senator has told an Oireachtas committee that the controversy around Tyndall College, and the local contractors left out of pocket, has created a "massive conflict" in the county as plans progress with a new contractor to open the school.

Works came to a halt on Tyndall College last January when the UK-based Carillion Construction - which had sub-contracted the works - went bust.

The Irish company, Sammon, had been sub-contracted by Carillion to carry out the building work on its behalf as part of the Public Private Partnership, but Sammon then went into liquidation in June. 

The school was due to be open for the start of this school year but that has now been pushed back to December with many local contractors left out of pocket by the collapse of the two companies. 

Senator Jennifer Murnane O'Connor made the comments at a meeting on Thursday of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance and Public Expenditure which was discussing the Public Private Partnerships and the liquidation of the Carillion Group.

Gerard Cahillane, David Corrigan and Louise Mulcahy from the National Development Finance Agency were present.

Senator Murnane O'Connor said: "The subcontractors want the schools open. The teachers and parents want the schools open. There is much controversy surrounding these projects in Carlow."

Mr Corrigan said: "Preliminary work at Tyndall college, Carlow, Carlow Institute of Further Education, and Eureka secondary school, Kells, was to be undertaken during the summer and will provide a detailed scope of works to enable the contract arrangements to be finalised for the completion of these schools by the end of December." 

Senator Murnane O'Connor added: "I know that the best of contractors were involved in the project and worked really hard. Parents are now saying, "Oh, my God, the subcontractors have done the work and my kids are going to that school."

"Do the witnesses present understand the massive conflict that has been created?

"The biggest issue for me is that nobody has taken responsibility for the matter."

Carlow Live recently revealed that six Tyndall College temporary prefabs are costing €185,000 as local contractors remain out of pocket for works done on the ill-fated Carlow school. 

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