In the wake of recent Boil Water notices and ongoing controversy surrounding the future ownership of Irish Water, the Social Democrats have today tabled a Dáil Motion seeking to bring Irish Water under the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General for accounting purposes and calling on the Government to commit to holding a referendum on the ownership of Irish Water.

People need accountability when public funds are being spent on something and this is no different.  The C&AG should have full accounting oversight of the organisation which would also ensure that he Public Accounts Committee would have a chance to see and question the spending arrangements within Irish Water.

The Social Democrats are contesting the upcoming by-elections in 2 of the areas affected by the recent boil water notices – Dublin Mid-West and Fingal, and say the issue comes up repeatedly on the doors with people having lost trust in their water supply.

Social Democrats Co-Leader Catherine Murphy previously tabled an Amendment to the Irish Water Act seeking to ensure the C&AG would be given financial oversight of the organisation on the basis that Irish Water is a fully State funded entity, but that Amendment was rejected by Government.

Anne-Marie McNally the party’s candidate in Dublin Mid-West said:
“The most recent boil water notices affecting parts of Lucan, Clondalkin and Palmerstown have just added to what has been a long running issue with the water supply to some of these areas. In recent years the water supply was changed from Ballymore Eustace to the Leixlip plant and for the past number of years residents have mounted a campaign to restore the original supply. We now have issues with cloudy water, a strange smell from the water and a very unpalatable taste. Many people also talk about the impact on the damage that the water is causing to their home appliances. People need to trust their water supply and until Irish Water is in public ownership, I just don’t think that we will be possible.”

Fingal candidate Tracey Carey said:
“Water is one of the most basic of human needs and it is one of the primary functions of the State to provide clean water to citizens. The failures of Irish Water recently, keenly felt by everyone in Fingal, are testament to a failure of government to invest properly in our water services. We have to prioritise investment in basic public services that are used by everybody – our water, our public transport, our health services. And these public services must be in public ownership. It’s time to guarantee for future generations in Fingal and elsewhere that our water services will remain in public ownership and not sold off to the highest bidder.”

Catherine Murphy TD said
“People need accountability when public funds are being spent on something and this is no different.  The C&AG should have full accounting oversight of the organisation which would also ensure that he Public Accounts Committee would have a chance to see and question the spending arrangements within Irish Water. This level of transparency is vital when it comes to public funds and we in the Social Democrats are determined to bring that transparency to every level of public life.”

ENDS
19th November 2019