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Fianna Fáil refuse to rule out a return of water charges - Munster

10 August, 2016 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath, Imelda Munster TD, has criticised Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne for his refusal to rule out the introduction of domestic water charges.

Speaking today following a radio interview with both deputies on LMFM, Deputy Munster said:

“Deputy Thomas Byrne is refusing to rule out the introduction of domestic water charges. It is a shocking statement to make as it is stated in the Fianna Fáil election Manifesto that they would abolish the charge as well as Irish Water. This manifesto was only printed six months ago.

“Since the election Fianna Fáil rejected the opportunity to abolish water charges, when they refused to support a motion put forward by the Right2Water movement.

"They are playing deeply cynical politics.

“Contrary to what’s been said recently in the media by Fine Gael and the European Commission, Ireland’s hands are not tied regarding the introduction of water charges. It was confirmed by the Commission 18 months ago that Ireland could opt out of charging for water, as is permitted in the Water Framework Directive. The only thing that has changed since then is the very real possibility that water charges could be abolished.

“The majority of TDs in the Dáil are opposed to water charges. Sinn Féin believes that the Government can and should invoke the exemption contained in the Water Framework Directive and respect the democratic will of the Irish people.

“When I asked Deputy Byrne whether this had been included in Fianna Fáil’s supply and confidence agreement, it became abundantly clear that they had not applied any pressure whatsoever to Fine Gael.

“Fianna Fáil are going along with this suspension to buy themselves time. Should another election come along they will likely again include in their manifesto a promise to abolish water charges and Irish Water and then use the EU as an excuse to go back on their word, again. 

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are two cheeks of the same backside. After decades of broken promises it’s time Fianna Fáil honoured the commitment they gave to the people in their election manifesto – abolish Irish Water and abolish water charges. Nothing less will suffice.”

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