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European Commission double-dealing on water must end – Boylan

9 August, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Reacting to the latest political intervention from the EU on the water issue in Ireland, Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan called out the European Commission for its continued double-dealing at such a politically sensitive time for water charges in Ireland.

Ms Boylan said:

“The European Commission needs to take a cold hard look at itself, that at a time when disengagement between citizens and the Brussels elites is at its highest, it deems it appropriate to stick its nose into Irish domestic politics when it is fully aware that a review into water charging is ongoing.

“It must be noted that the position of the European Commission has curiously seemed to change over the past couple of years on this issue. Indeed, a year and a half ago, Commissioner Vella’s water unit in the Commission confirmed in emails to separate queries from both myself and Marian Harkin MEP that Ireland could in fact opt to not charge for water as is permitted in the Water Framework Directive.

“The increasingly political interventions we are seeing now from the Commission are therefore particularly at odds with what they’ve already put on the record on this issue. But then again, a year and a half ago the prospect of Irish water charges being abolished probably seemed a distant possibility to Mr Vella and the Fine Gael government.

“Contrary to what Fine Gael and the European Commission would like us to believe, Ireland’s hands are not tied regarding abolishing water charges. They have previously stated that we can and now they say we can't. Ireland cannot be lectured to by an EU which seems to change its mind as it goes along.

“Furthermore, Sinn Féin have commissioned a legal opinion which I will publish when completed.” 

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