Dáil Éireann - Volume 542 - 24 October, 2001

Written Answers. - Flood Damage.

102. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Finance the investigation which has been carried out into the flooding of parts of the new Leinster House 2000 building as a result of heavy rains during summer 2001 which led to a serious interruption of phone services; the total cost of repairing the damage; if liability for the cost of the damage rests with the Office of Public Works or the construction firm; the steps being taken to ensure that such flooding does not recur; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25349/01]

Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Cullen): On 8 August last, a torrential downpour took place in Dublin which put extreme pressure on the cast iron rainwater pipes in the Leinster House basement, not in LH 2000, resulting in a major fracture in an old pipe. This [1626] led to the flooding which knocked out the phone system.

The cost of plugging the pipe and mopping up, which was carried out by on-site Office of Public Works personnel, assisted by contractors, was negligible. Repairs to the wiring of the phone system cost £49,278.61 which will be borne on the Oireachtas Vote. The cause of the incident was not due to the actions of any construction company.

A programme of surveying and clearing all drains in Leinster House had been under way for some time prior to 8 August. Access for contractors to do this type of work was restricted to times when the Dáil, Oireachtas Committees, etc., were not in session. The programme continued throughout the summer recess and will continue on a regular basis into the future. Further works to improve drainage are also planned.