Laois Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming says Minister Richard Bruton’s treatment of Carillon and Sammon sub-contractors is 'shameful'.
Deputy Fleming made the comments after receiving a parliamentary question reply from Minister Bruton in which he blamed Carillon and Sammon sub-contractors for their loss of payments. Portlaoise Parish schools were built by Sammon Contracting Ireland Limited.
Minister Bruton has said it is the sub-contractors own fault that they were owed so much money when Carillon and Sammon went bust.
Deputy Fleming said, “Carillion and Sammon were involved in the construction of numerous schools throughout the country.
"Work on these schools was halted following the collapse of both Carillion and Sammon and many sub-contractors have not been paid for work they had carried out. These sub-contractors are now struggling for their very survival.
“The reply I have received from the Minister is nothing short of shameful. He is now blaming the sub-contractors themselves for not getting the money that they were owed.
“This is a disgraceful reply. Minister Bruton is essentially saying sub-contractors should have downed tools and withdrawn from the sites and entered into a dispute resolution process to get their money.
"Everybody knows that these type of legal procedures can go on forever and could jeopardise sub-contractors ever getting future work. This simply isn’t how the real world operates.
"Minister Bruton’s comments are a low-blow and show contempt for the sub-contractors who are fighting for survival. As these were State funded projects, sub-contractors understandably had a high level of trust that they would be paid.
“Minister Bruton would do well to remember that these schools would not have even been built to the stage they are currently at if the sub-contractors had walked off the sites at an earlier stage and followed the Minister’s advice,” concluded Deputy Fleming.
Minister Richard Bruton is a Fine Gael politician who has served as Minister for Education and Skills since May 2016.