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Irish Water still shrouded in a cloak of secrecy – Lynn Boylan MEP

4 May, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has challenged Irish Water to shed its cloak of secrecy after her Freedom of Information (FOI) request was refused by the public body.

Speaking in Dublin the Sinn Féin MEP said:

“Irish Water recently commissioned and paid for legal advice which was then leaked to the media. That advice, paid for using the public’s money, was little more than a statement for self-survival. No details of the legal opinion were ever provided.

“On hearing about Irish Water’s orchestrated media campaign on its own behalf, I immediately lodged an application under the FOI Act, seeking a copy of the legal advice obtained. I have now been informed that my request has been turned down because Irish Water believes its legal advice is exempt from the FOI Act. I will be appealing this decision.

“It is noteworthy that Irish Water saw fit to leak its legal opinion to the media but now refuse to release the contents of that same legal opinion to me, as an elected public representative. Irish Water cannot continue to whisper out of one side of its mouth, while saying nothing from the other.

“This continues a policy of secrecy at this so-called public body. Details of the numbers of bill payments made are also shrouded in secrecy – particularly since the general election.

“It is time that the new government partnership of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael stepped in and reminded Irish Water that they are a public utility and not a private company.

“In particular, despite Fianna Fáil reneging on its election promise to abolish Irish Water, it must still ensure that the company is not permitted to continue to operate under a cloak of secrecy.”

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