No evidence of wrongdoing or graft in CIÉ, says Varadkar

Sat, Dec 8, 2012, 00:00

There is no evidence of wrongdoing or that corruption is rife in CIÉ, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has told the Dáil.

Since taking office he had trawled the department to see “if many allegations of wrongdoing were made in CIÉ and if they stacked up”. He said there was “only a small number” and “none of them stacked up”.

The Minister said he would like to see evidence for allegations about wrongdoing or corruption in CIÉ: “I cannot stand over an assumption that wrongdoing must be rife and ongoing because it was proved in one instance in 2005.”

The Minister was responding to Independent TD Shane Ross who claimed “CIÉ, certainly two years ago, was rotten to the core”. The exchanges occurred during debate on the Transport (Córas Iompair Éireann and Subsidiary Companies Borrowings) Bill, which allows the group to increase its borrowings for non-capital or day-to-day operations from about €107 million to €300 million.

Mr Varadkar said without the legislation he did not have the funds to put another injection of taxpayers’ money into CIÉ next year.

Charlie McConalogue (FF) paid tribute to CIÉ workers who had faced job losses and changes in work practices. Sinn Féin transport spokesman Dessie Ellis criticised significant increase in fares.

The Bill now goes to committee stage.