Donegal County Councillor Ciaran Brogan has said his Fianna Fail party are completely against water charges and is urging the Goverment to abandon plans to make people pay for water.
On the eve of three major protest rallies across Donegal in Letterkenny, Lifford and Ballyshannon, Cllr Brogan again voiced his party’s concerns about Irish Water.
He said a recent meeting by Donegal County Council with the company had left councillors as confused as ever about the plans to charge for water.
This is his statement.
“It’s time the Government washed its hand of the entire Irish Water fiasco.
“Hundreds of millions of euro has already been spent on this quango when it would have been much better directed to improving the existing network and enhancing the water quality.
“There are many areas in Donegal that have been forced to put up with a sub-standard supply – it would surely have made economical sense to spend this money on making sure that householders and businesses in these areas had a water supply that others take for granted.
“We in the Fianna Fail party are completely opposed to the privatization of Irish Water and while the Government may argue that this is a semi-state body, the facts say differently.
“This has been a total shambles right from the beginning and the Government parties are running up blind alleys in their efforts to explain away the inexplicable.
“Over a year ago the Fianna Fail party sought to meet with Irish Water due to our concerns over the handover of our greatest natural resource and to clarify how it would affect group water schemes, the takeover of estates, and how applications for water connections are dealt with.
“There has been a complete lack of clarity on the issue of handing over these assets to Irish Water. Representatives from a large number of local authorities including Donegal County Council met with Irish Water in Carrick-on-Shannon on Tuesday last and came away as confused as ever.
“At that meeting we called on Irish Water to review the rollout of this programme because the people of rural Ireland are frightened by the drip fee of information that has been emerging over the last eleven months.
“This is quite literally the Irish Watergate of our time and the Government is falling headlong into it without having thought the whole thing out.
“We are therefore calling on the Government to listen to the concerns of the people and stop wasting millions on consultants and water meters and instead give this much needed funding to improve the network.
“The cost of installing the water meters alone and the man hours involved has already bitten deep into the country’s resources. I have yet to hear a Government Minister or spokesperson come clean on Irish Water and what a fiasco it has turned out to be but I’d be fairly confident that many of them believe like the rest of us that it has been a shambles from day one.
“The Government cannot impose these water charges on the people until all the issues have been resolved.
“I am calling for a suspension of these charges until a full review of Irish Water is carried out. Otherwise the issue is going to sink deeper into disorder and cause further confusion as if we didn’t have enough of that already.
“This weekend the people of Donegal and every other county in the country are taking to the streets again to highlight their opposition to Irish Water and the charges that are being put in place.
“The protest marches in Letterkenny, Lifford and Ballyshannon are serving to demonstrate the depth of feeling and anger that is out there over this whole issue.
“It’s high time the Government listened and pulled the plug on Irish Water before we are left with a total mess.”Tags: