OPW defends cost of Ahern office


The Office of Public Works (OPW) has today defended its spending after it emerged €220,000 was spent on renovating and equipping a new Dáil office for former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

A spokesman for the OPW said that a standard rate was charged for different types of maintenance jobs at Leinster House, and that the figure spent on the refurbishment was the going market rate.

Similar work had been done in the past for previous taoisigh, he added.

The OPW confirmed the office just off Kildare Street, on which Leinster House is located, consist of an office for Mr Ahern, secretarial staff, reception, waiting room, toilet facilities, kitchenette, and storage area.

It said the costs of all furniture, carpets, floor coverings and curtains was €84,206.99 with the balance spent on the demolition, building and construction works.

"The works were completed by the time he resigned on May 6th last. OPW staff designed the offices and all building works, carpets, furniture, fittings were provided through this office. The cost of these works, including the cleaning of offices on the floor above (due to dust etc.) and air-conditioning filters came to approx. €220,000," an OPW spokesman said.

The figure does not include associated security costs.