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Sunday 13 October 2019

Harris set to apologise as protesters target his home

Simon Harris
Simon Harris

Simon Harris is expected to apologise to the Dail this week over information he provided on the cost of the National Children's Hospital.

The Opposition has called for the health minister to resign after his department's memos from last August showed a €391m overrun.

Mr Harris did not tell Cabinet colleagues about the overspend until November.

The minister has been criticised by Fianna Fail after an answer he gave to a parliamentary question failed to show that costs were escalating.

Mr Harris' spokeswoman told RTE's This Week: "While the minister couldn't provide figures during commercially sensitive negotiations and because the figures were not known, he has said he wishes he had inserted some initial information - specifically reference to the fact there was a process under way to finalise pricing for Phase B."

Condemning

She added that "while the parliamentary question was factually correct, Mr Harris will be happy to apologise for not providing such context".

Meanwhile, in a separate development, gardai were called to Mr Harris' home after protesters stationed themselves outside yesterday.

TDs from all political quarters have rallied against the protesters, condemning the actions as "utterly unacceptable".

The group, known as Fingal Battalion Direct Action Group, were outside the Fine Gael politician's Wicklow home when Mr Harris, his wife and three-week-old baby were inside yesterday afternoon.

The group were there in the early afternoon, with gardai saying they "left the scene peacefully and enquiries will be carried out" shortly after 3.30pm.

The minister thanked An Garda Siochana for their help.

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