THE DEVELOPMENT of Limerick's new motorway was almost delayed after a Limerick Minister breached Cabinet rules by announcing the works on social media, it has been revealed.
Junior Finance Minister Patrick O'Donovan announced the €447m funding for the development at 10am last Wednesday on Facebook and Twitter, before the Cabinet had met to agree on such funding.
The investment will go towards the construction of a new Adare bypass that will also link the M21 to Foynes port near Limerick.
At the meeting, Transport Minister Shane Ross revealed how Mr O'Donovan had already announced the Government investment before it had been agreed by the Cabinet, before reportedly leaving the chamber to consider delaying the proposal but returning to sign off on the funding.
"Ross came back into the room and said he could have delayed it but said he wouldn't and suggested there were other ways of dealing with Patrick," a Fine Gael minister said, according to the Independent.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent yesterday, the Transport Minister said: "It should be a sacred, unbreakable principle of Government that no Cabinet decision is undermined or pre-empted by premature public comment by interested politicians. There is always a danger that the Cabinet will decide to amend or postpone important projects for good reason."
Meanwhile, when asked for a comment by the Sunday Independent, Mr O'Donovan responded: "You'll have to ask a Cabinet source."
"Most of the ministers in the room agreed O'Donovan was completely out of order and should have waited for the decision to be officially signed off," a minister has also said.
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