Published on 

Statement by Minister of State, Pat Breen

As Minister of State with responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection I have no role in the National Broadband Plan, its rollout or its procurement.

In my role as Minister of State, I have had occasion to meet, or be present at meetings or events with David McCourt, who is a significant investor in Ireland, on the following occasions, all of which are recorded in my ministerial diary:

02/06/16: I spoke at the launch of at Ely Place in Dublin, following a request from the Department of Foreign Affairs. The company is owned by Grahanan McCourt. This is the first time I met Mr McCourt.
20/10/16: I had a breakfast meeting with Mr McCourt in the Merrion Hotel, Dublin.
02/12/16: I attended a meeting with the Shannon Group and Mc McCourt in Co Clare, in relation to investment in the Shannon region.

Mr McCourt’s home is about 10 miles from my home in Co Clare. I have gotten to know Mr McCourt on a personal basis, have visited his Co Clare home several times and met him on other occasions in a private capacity.

Last year, on the request of Mr McCourt, I asked Denis Naughten, then Minister for Communications, if he would like to come to a dinner in Mr McCourt’s house. Mr McCourt’s wife also attended the dinner. To my knowledge, the National Broadband Plan was not discussed at the dinner.