- 11 Oct 18
The Minister made the announcement in the Dail this afternoon.
Mr. Naughten had come under intense scrutiny after it emerged that he paid for lunch for a businessman bidding to take on the National Broadband Plan.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Communications has said Denis Naughten paid for lunch for a businessman involved in the tender for the Plan.
The spokesperson stated that the lunch for David McCourt and members of his family cost €37 and it was deducted from Minister's Naughten's salary in July under the Oireachtas payments system.
The minister also said that he met Mr McCourt on one other occasion, as part of a meeting attended by the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Communications on 26 June.
Mr McCourt’s firm, Granahan McCourt, is part of a consortium bidding for the State broadband contract.
Previous to this, Mr. Naughten had said that he didn't know who had paid for the lunch.
This afternoon, Denis Naughten announced his resignation as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment in the wake of the controversy.
He made a statement in the Dail before he leaving the chamber.
Mr. Naughten told the Dáil that having met the Taoiseach last night, he believed that he did not have confidence in him.
He said that during the meeting, he offered to hand over the National Broadband Plan to Minister of State Sean Kyne. However, he said the Taoiseach refused that offer and asked him to consider his position.
He told the Dáil today: "For my family, constituents and 1.1 million people waiting for this essential [broadband] service, to ordinary people in rural Ireland, I've given the Taoiseach my resignation.
"The fact is that as Minister I have to meet investors, whether it is in the telecoms or energy or any other sector. These are the people who provide jobs in this country.
"That is the context in which i had meetings with Mr McCourt and that is how it should be seen."
Mr Naughten said he was "absolutely satisfied" that the dinner did not mean there was any hint of interference in the procurement process by him.