It’s time for Leo Varadkar to intervene and bring clarity to the roll out of the National Broadband Plan, says Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley TD .
He told us: “We have had months on end of Minister Naughten fudging answers on when the NBP contract would be signed, when works would begin and when every single one of the 540,000 people under the Plan would be connected to high speed, quality broadband.
“Minister Naughten clearly doesn’t want to deal with this issue, so I am calling on the Taoiseach to set the record straight and let the people know where they stand.
“What they need to hear from the Taoiseach is when he expects the contract to be signed with the preferred bidder, when he expects works to commence and when he expects the Plan to be delivered in full.
It’s not that much to ask on such a critically important national project."
He added: “I, along with many of TDs, have consistently questioned Minister Naughten on these simple questions for well over a year, and we have been met with silence on all counts.
“The Government’s own Programme for Government set a target of June 2017 for the awarding of the tender with a commitment to ‘to accelerate the roll out of the infrastructure next year .’
“Clearly this commitment has been dropped by the Government which isn’t surprising as every other target; goal or promise to the people of rural Ireland on broadband delivery has been missed. The original National Broadband Plan was due to be completed by 2016 so a failure to deliver isn’t new when it comes to this government."
He concludes: “The Taoiseach prides himself on, and makes a virtue of, his reputation as a straight talker. Here is a perfect opportunity for the Taoiseach to be honest with the people of rural Ireland."
Hot Press has learnt that independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar he should move to "immediately appoint" Josephine Fehilly, the current boss of the Policing Authority, as Secretary General of the Department of Justice.Read More
A former teacher and published author has been on hunger strike since 24th of October in an effort to receive a pension and to highlight her plight following accusations of being involved in the infamous Northern Bank robbery.Read More
The Arts Council today has welcomed a new government scheme to allow artists to gain access to social welfare supports.Read More
Having beaten Simon Coveney 60%-40% in the vote to be leader of Fine Gael, the TD from West Dublin will now step into Enda Kenny's shoes.Read More
The weekend's election results make bleak reading for the outgoing government, and while there's still numbers to be crunched, some are calling for a change. Could the young Dubliner be the change that we're looking for?Read More
The battle for equal rights, which Hot Press has proudly helped wage since the 1970s, has been won!Read More
The Minister for Health, Leo Varadker, today became the first ever Irish cabinet minister to openly state that he is gay.Read More
As the youngest member of the Fine Gael front-bench, Leo Varadker has a reputation for being forthright and abrasive. But it turns out that the 31-year-old doctor has a sensitive side too, as he discusses sex, politics, the loss of privacy and the boys club that is Dáil Éireann.Read More
In a highly revealing interview in the new issue of Hot Press, Fine Gael front-bencher Leo Varadkar also talks about Fianna Fail's "white lies", claims that Patrick Neary was deliberately appointed to be a "soft touch", and says that the IRA still exists, despite decommissioning.Read More