Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has accused the government of wooing the people with false promises of reform during the last election and reiterated the calls of party leader Gerry Adams T.D. for Minister Phil Hogan to resign.
Speaking in the Seanad today, Senator Cullinane said:
“They promised that if elected, business would be done in a more transparent way.
“Accountability was to be the hallmark of the new government and a new era of transparency coupled with oversight and ethical behaviour was forecast.
“In sort, the plain people of Ireland were offered nothing short of a democratic revolution.
“The reality is that the government mislead the people by withholding important information from the Dáil about the huge levels of expenditure that were involved in the establishment of Irish Water.
“Yesterday John Tierney, MD of Irish Water told the Oireachtas Environment Committee that Minister Hogan was aware of the allocation of €180 million of public money to setup the company.
“In light of this, I like many others want to know if Minister Hogan knew that these costs included €80 million in consultancy fees.
“Before Christmas I was rebuked by Fine Gael and Labour senators and by the Minister for time wasting because I was expressing my deep concerns about this Bill and especially about the way it was being rushed through.
“I take no pleasure in saying that I was proved right and that yet again this Government in its haste to privatise important public utilities has wasted much needed public funds on private consultants.
“This is yet another example of gross incompetency and Minister Hogan should resign immediately.
“The establishment of Irish Water will only serve to place an extra burden on already hard pressed families with water charges.
“Sinn Féin is opposed to water charges and to the privatisation of water services.”