Sinn Féin Environment spokesperson Brian Stanley TD has called on Minister Alan Kelly to explain why his government ignored the advice of Bord Gais on the issue of water meters.
Deputy Stanley was speaking today after the This Week Programme on RTÉ Radio One revealed that Bord Gais questioned the need for Irish Water’s €540 million metering programme back in 2012.
“The latest lot of leaked documents reveal the shambolic process that took place in establishing Irish Water. The revelation that there are no minutes or even notes of the majority of 23 meetings between senior Government officials and Bord Gais in mid 2012 is extraordinary.
“Major decisions would have been taken at those meetings as the establishment of Irish Water and how it would operate were discussed. The civil servants present and on occasions former Minister Phil Hogan was there supposedly to represent the citizens yet no records were kept of these.
“One meeting that there is a record of took place on 11 of May 2012. It is reported that at this meeting the government officials were stating and pressing the case for water meters and outlined that this was Government policy.
“Bord Gais questioned this and were in favour of flat charges or assessed ones. The fact that Labour and Fine Gael have now reversed back into the Bord Gais position after wasting most of the €539 million of public money on installing meters that are now redundant for at least four years is outrageous.
“Minister Kelly now needs to explain why his Government ignored the advice of Bord Gais particularly in view of the regular statements from government that Bord Gais was given the role of establishing Irish Water due to its level of expertise. We also need an explanation as to why no records were kept of these important meetings.”