Opposition TDs have rounded on the Government following the disclosure that the chosen National Broadband Plan (NBP) bidder is putting less than €200m into the project.

It came after Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed revealed how much bid winner Granahan McCourt is investing during an interview with Clare FM on Wednesday.

The Government had previously refused to reveal how much Granahan McCourt is contributing to the deal which will see the private investment company take ownership of the broadband infrastructure. 

And today Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, again said he is not in a position to reveal how much Granahan McCourt will be committing to the project.

He said the Government must respect the "confidentiality of the company and the contribution it was making", and that revealing details would also "undermine the ability of the State to participate in public-private partnerships" and agreements with other companies. 

But Opposition TDs today demanded the Government provide more clarity on how the project is being funded.

Speaking at the Annual James Connolly Commemoration at Arbour Hill Labour leader Brendan Howlin said broadband should be publicly owned. 

Mr Howlin told the gathering: "A free market ideology is clearly visible in Fine Gael's decision to give €3 billion of the people's money to a private monopoly, alongside ownership of the rural broadband network.

"This decision was taken within weeks of Labour leaving Government. It shows that Fine Gael cannot be trusted with national industries or major public investment. They are simply opposed to the State's role in the economy.

"Labour would entrust broadband to a publicly-owned company, and ensure the broadband network remains in public hands."

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said: "On the floor of the Dáil I have asked the Government to detail the level of investment to be made by the private company Granahan McCourt. They refused to make the level of investment public.

"Officials in government departments, who are aware of the level of proposed private sector investment, rubbished the cost benefit analysis of the proposal and questioned the ability of the project to be delivered.

"It is now reported that while taxpayers will invest up to €3 billion, the private company will invest only €200 million and at the end of the project will own the infrastructure.

"It is time for the Taoiseach to clarify the amount being invested by Granahan McCourt and if he stands by the comments of Minister Creed."

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Barry Cowen said that Minister Paschal Donohoe's "sums don't add up on broadband".

Branding the revelation that Granahan McCourt will invest less than €200million equity into the plan as "farcical".

Deputy Cowen also said that the Minister for Finance has failed to outline how the Government will pay for the extra €1.5 billion needed to cover the cost of the project.

Mr Cowen said: "The Government's continued refusal to disclose documents in relation to the input of Granahan McCourt in the NBP is an affront to the taxpayers. 

"Minister Donohoe is taking the people of Ireland for mugs with his insistence that no capital projects will be impacted as a result of the costs of the plan, given that his own department has outlined the possible implications of spending an extra €1.5 billion."

He added: "The fact that Granahan McCourt are only putting forward a fraction of the cost in this plan is further evidence of the Government's negligence and carelessness when it comes to the economy."