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Cullinane highlights need to keep water services in public ownership

25 January, 2012


The provision of water is too important to be surrendered by the state to the private sector, according to Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane.
Speaking in the Seanad today, during statements on Irish Water and related reform, Senator Cullinane highlighted how privatisation of water provision in other states had failed and emphasised the need to invest in our water provision system rather than spending money needlessly on water metering.
“A national body ensure not only a constant of supply but also its even operation across the state. It would also of course have the responsibility to ensure the proper upkeep of treatment facilities and the supply network. So, I welcome the fact that we are moving to a national body but its operation and make-up of the body will be crucial."
“It is my view that privatisation is not the way forward and we have the benefit of reflecting on its failures elsewhere. In Britain, despite increased investment, we have seen an increase in the cost to the public through charges, as well as a decline in the quantity and the quality of the water supplied.
“There is no doubt but that the water services infrastructure needs significant work. More than half, some 58% of water, is wasted through leaky and damaged pipes before they even reach homes, but, taxpayers money needs be spent wisely. The €500m which it will cost to put water meters in place in 1.1m homes, would be better spent on fixing this leaky infrastructure, without hitting the least well off yet again.”
Senator Cullinane also said that the use of an Irish label for any new body should be considered.
"The use of labels, logos and brands are crucial in terms of how people perceive the language and many state agencies have or have had their names in Irish, such as Coillte and Bus Eireann. More or less everyone in the state would know what I mean if I was to refer to Uisce Éireann.

"The government should take opportunities such as these to promote the language and its use, and I welcome that the minister has stated that he will consider the use of an Irish title for such a body."

ends

Is mise le meas
Senator David Cullinane
Teach Laighean/Leinster House,
Baile Átha Cliath 2/Dublin 2
Éire/Ireland

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(00353) 1 6183176

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