FINE GAEL TD Joe Carey has backed his under-pressure Clare colleague Minister of State Pat Breen following the fall-out from resigned Minister Denis Naughten’s meeting with David McCourt, the key bidder in the broadband procurement process.
In a statement to The Clare Echo, Mr Carey said, “Minister of State Pat Breen has my full support and is doing an excellent job. It is worth remembering that he has no role in the National Broadband Plan, its rollout or its procurement. It’s my understanding that Minister of State Breen knows Mr. Mc Court on a personal basis and passed on a dinner invitation to former Minister Nauaghten on Mr. Mc Court’s behalf. I further understand that to the best of Minister of State Breen’s knowledge, the National Broadband Plan was not discussed at the dinner.”
West Clare Sinn Féin respresentative, Violet-Anne Wynne has called for a re-think of the entire National Broadband Plan, following the debacle of the resignation of the Minister for Communications, and Violet-Anne Wynne, has also said that there is a need for clarity surrounding the role of Minister of State Pat Breen, over his arranged dinner, between the former Minister for Communications and National Broadband bidder David McCourt.
West Clare Sinn Féin representative Violet-Anne Wynne said:
“The debacle leading to the resignation of the Minister for Communications, have now compromised the tender process for the National Broadband Plan; the only question is to what degree.”
“There will now be a review of the tender process, but the reality is the clock may need to be reset to zero. With the real casualty being the thousands of businesses and households still awaiting broadband in rural Clare.”
She added, “It is clear that the Communications Minister’s actions led to his position becoming untenable, because of the new twist in a tendering process that has already been marred by delay and uncertainty.
“However, it is unacceptable for the Clare Minister of State, to have remained silent about the controversial dinner.”
“Minister Pat Breen, is trying to remain aloof from the broadband tendering debacle. But he has to explain what was his motivation and his full role was in planning the dinner.”