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Seanad’s acceptance of Water Bill does not mean defeat - Cullinane

22 December, 2014 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin have said that the fight back against the Governments plans to introduce household water charges remains unfinished business as the Seanad passed the Water Services Bill this evening.

Speaking from Leinster House, Senator David Cullinane said;

"The Government has failed to listen to the Irish people, despite marching in their thousands outside this parliament on 10th December from across the state to demonstrate their widespread opposition to this unjust tax.

"The Government Bill narrowly passed through the Seanad this evening due to the support of the majority of the Taoiseach's 11 nominees who essentially prop up the Government and their failed policies.

"However, Sinn Féin has committed to exhaust every means possible to resist and prevent this legislation becoming law by using every tool at our disposal through the democratic process and it is not over yet.

"The people rightly demand a referendum on this issue which is of huge national importance.  The Government will not concede to this demand, but the President has the constitutional power where he may decline to sign this Bill into law on the grounds that it contains a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people should be ascertained by way of a referendum.”

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said;

"Sinn Féin is in direct contact with the Office of the President where we are seeking clarification around whether invoking a joint petition from Senators and TDs under article 27 of the Constitution requesting that the President declines signing the Bill into law and until a referendum is held is possible."

"If this option is ruled out the President within his own constitutional powers has the right to refer the Bill to the Supreme Court.  That is a call for the President himself of course.

"We believe that every consideration must be given to every option within the democratic process which can potentially stop this legislation becoming law and that there is a moral obligation on us to do so."

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