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29/06/2010

Dublin Docks Film 'Waste of Money'

The embattled docklands body for Dublin - which is already suffering from a slew of scandals - has been hit by another major criticism, after revelations that it had spent €120,000 on a documentary that never aired.
The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) spent the sum 30-minute film in 2006, featuring an interview with former Taoiseach and local TD for the docklands area, Bertie Ahern.
The authority is already being examined by the State's spending watchdog, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), over its decision to buy a former Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend in Dublin for €426m, which is now worth just €50m.
Speaking in response to the recent revelations Fine Gael Environment Spokesman, Phil Hogan, said it was just the latest example of the huge waste of public money by the authority.
Deputy Hogan accused Environment Minister John Gormley of refusing to get involved and find out what went on at the "discredited" DDDA.
"The fact that the DDDA splurged a six figure sum on a documentary that never aired is just the latest example of taxpayers' cash being wasted.
"The video, that is choc-a-bloc with interviews with people like Bertie Ahern, was meant to be broadcast but after spending €120,000 on it, this never occurred. This shows again that squandering public money seems to have been endemic at the Authority.
"I'm fed up with the inability of the Minister for the Environment to get to grips with what happened at the DDDA and, as he has done repeatedly, the Minister is refusing to explore and expose what went on at the DDDA."
Last month, Environment Minister Gormley published a report on corporate governance matters in the DDDA called the Brassil report, which concluded there were serious weaknesses across aspects of the Authority's planning functions.
(DW/BMcC)
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