Adams calls for inquiry into Hogan Irish Water meetings
Speaking in the Dáil this evening during a debate on the Water Charges, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD called for an Oireachtas inquiry into the fact that no records exist of meetings held in 2012 between former Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and key players in Irish Water.
Gerry Adams said:
“Irish Water has become synonymous with everything that is wrong with this Government - cronyism, political manipulation of State boards, threats to citizens and escalating taxes on struggling families.
“It was revealed at the weekend that there are no records and no minutes available of important meetings that were held in 2012 between former Minister Phil Hogan and key players in Irish Water.
“This is extraordinary when you consider scandal around the huge sums of public money spent on consultants by Irish Water.
“It is simply not believable that meetings took place, involving the Minister and the Chairwoman of Bord Gais, about the establishment of a major new public utility but that no notes were taken at of any of these meetings.
“Considering the issues at stake, I believe there needs to an Oireachtas inquiry into this issue.”
Mr Adams said that the Right2Water campaign is a genuine grassroots citizens movement, which has raised the political consciousness of communities across the State but he criticised a tiny minority which sought to hijack protests.
“Their irresponsible actions do not reflect the views of the tens of thousands of families who have come out to protest against the imposition of this unjust tax. More importantly, their behaviour has played into the hands of the establishment who use it to discredit the anti-water charges protests.
“Anti-Water Charge protests must be peaceful, safe and encourage the largest number of citizens to participate.
“Ultimately the only way that Water Charges will be scrapped will be by a decision in government. Sinn Féin is pledged to do that. Sinn Fein stopped the imposition of water charges in the North and in government we will scrap them in this State.
“Sinn Fein advocates the immediate repeal of Water Charges legislation; the holding of a constitutional referendum to keep water services in public ownership; the dismantling of Irish Water and its replacement by a new model of governance, funding and delivery within full public ownership and democratic control and accountability.
“It would be interesting to hear if Fianna Fáil, which created Water Charges here in the first instance, will make this commitment.
“Nobody should be in any doubt - Water charges can be defeated. They will be defeated. What we need is to maintain the unity of the Right2Water campaign and the determination of citizens who are showing the way.”