Updated: 17/05/18 : 06:27:34
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True cost of Sligo €45k launch of Project 2040 was €200k

Leo Varadkar and his team of ministers spent almost €200,000 on a video for his Project 2040 launch in Sligo – despite telling the Dáil the event cost under €45,000. See link below.

A Freedom of Information request from the Irish Mirror uncovered the costs of the Taoiseach’s PR blitz in Sligo in February.

And central to these is the payment of €194,901.98 for the production of video costs for the day.

After this, a further €80,000 was spent on showing the ill-fated video in cinemas across the country, part of a €1.4million spend on advertising the Project Ireland 2040 launch in media. Another €6,000 was claimed for hotels and mileage for the 20 mandarins and officials who made the trip to Sligo for the day.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy has been key in the exposure of escalating costs over Project 2040.


She claimed the Government were trying to hide these costs because the whole thing was a “sales pitch that was all spin but no substance”.

Ms Murphy added: “They say the purpose was to raise awareness and engage citizens but this was a fait accompli – if this was a terrific Government initiative, I think they would have given us all of the facts.

“But initially we were getting all of this drip feed because essentially this was a sales pitch.

“This was spin, it was just a sales pitch for the Government – and using public money made it worse.”

Moviegoers

Ms Murphy slammed the plan to show the ads in cinemas which she thinks was not something moviegoers wanted to see.

She added: “I can’t tell you the number of people that told me they went to the pictures and here was this thing coming out, it was highly unusual.

“So the cost of actually running that... it’s strange but when I was asked questions about costs, we expected to be told not what certain aspects of it cost but what the whole thing costs.”

Ms Murphy said she was shocked to hear the real bill of the Project 2040 launch was far higher than first claimed.

She added: “It turns out it was multiple of €45,000 – which explains to me the real reason why there was a controversy.

“And they obviously weren’t forthcoming, telling us what the total cost was, otherwise they would have told us.

“And they certainly didn’t go out of their way to tell us about the broad range of things that were happening, including these videos.”

Link: Sligo Today 28/2/2018