Sinn Fein Change Of Position On Irish Water - Fianna Fail Says A Most Extraordinary Statement

Earlier this month a piece from Buncrana Together focused on a change in the position of Sinn Fein in respect of Irish Water.

RTE, 'This Week', informed the public that despite Sinn Fein signing up to the Right2Change policy of abolishing Irish Water and setting up a new national water board, Eoin OBroin, Sinn Fein spokesperson told the programme that his party sees no obvious alternative to Irish Water at present which is why they want to launch an independent commission to find out the best model.

RTE 'This Week' Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Click photo to listen to programme

The section that is of interest to anti Irish Water campaigners starts from 9 mins in and last about 20 mins. The discussion centers around the future of approx 4000 employees, 650 of whom are directly employed by Irish Water while the rest are still employed by County Councils.

Mr O'Broin went on to say:

I haven't heard anybody outline a detailed or credible alternative to Irish Water. I know there are sketchy proposals made by other parties. That's why we think its best to have a commission to design the best possible model.

When questioned if he would accept the commission's recommendations, Mr O'Broin said:

if the independent commission comes back and says Irish Water is the best model after all and should be retained, I would be surprised, but if you set up an independent commission to look into it, then I think there is a responsibility to accept it's findings.

Fianna Fail response

Sean Fleming, Fianna Fail spokesperson, when asked what he thought of Sinn Fein's proposal, said that:

it is the most extraordinary statement I have heard in the last month from anybody. Pearse Doherty had a motion in the Dail during the past week to close down Irish Water. Now we have a newly elected Sinn Fein TD saying they are not doing that and that they want an independent commission. One is contradicting the other.


Adrian Kane of SIPTU representing the workers in Irish Water and County Councils said they are going to resist the . Interestingly Mr Kane stated that closing down Irish Water "would be a disaster for the country".

However, there was no mention of Irish Water Ltd's own plans for 1200 redundancies.

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