An Italian firm, Fratelli Ruffati, has been sent a letter of intent that they are to construct the new pipe organ for St. Mel’s Cathedral in favour of the Wicklow-based company that installed the previous organ back in 1982, Kenneth Jones Pipe Organs Ltd.
The decision, which equates to over €450,000 worth of business, is the subject of some controversy and questions have been raised with regard to the transparency in the tender process, the level of business lost to the State, and concerns as to the quality of the pipe-organ commissioned.
Bishop Colm O’Reilly, in a statement to the Leader, has defended the organ sub-committee’s decision to award the contract to the Italian company.
“On the basis of the tender submitted, the committee recommended that the contract be offered to Fratelli Ruffati on the basis of musicality, design of the organ and value for money. A letter of intent has been issued,” read the statement.
The committee set up to deal with the tender process for the rebuilding of the organ included the “best expertise available in Ireland”, according to Dr O’Reilly.
For more on this story, see this week’s Longford Leader.