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Coveney riding roughshod over Water Committee before it is even established - Ó Broin

20 November, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on water Eoin Ó Broin has accused Simon Coveney of “riding roughshod over the Oireachtas Water Committee” following the Ministers announcement that he has appointed Independent Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh to chair the committee.


Deputy Ó Broin said:


“Simon Coveney confirmed today that he has appointed Independent Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh as chair of the as yet unestablished Oireachtas Water Committee. The decision appears to have been made without any formalconsultation with other political parties and before the committee has been established and its membership agreed.


“Whether Fianna Fáil have signed up to this proposal is not yet clear though Mr Ó Céidigh was one of Micheal Martin’s appointments to the Seanad as part of his secret deal with Enda Kenny.


“Minister Coveney is riding roughshod over the Oireachtas Water Committee. In doing so he is demonstrating a serious dir]sregard for the Committee and for normal procedures.


“Special Oireachtas committee chairpersons are usually elected once the Committee has been established. This is what happened with the all party Health Committee and Housing and Homeless Committee established earlier this year.


“Standard Oireachtas Committee chairs are also agreed on a proportionate basis. To intervene as Minister and seek to appoint a chair, no matter who that person is, is a serious departure from Oireachtas procedure.


“Minister Coveney has repeatedly said that he wants to build a consensus on the issue of water. He also told TDs last week during Oral Questions that the work of the Water Committee was a matter for its members and that he didn't want to be seen to be interfering its its deliberations of the report from the expert group.


“Yet today we learn that the Minister is seeking to impose a chair on the Committee before it has even been established. The chair of the Water Committee is a matter for the members of that Committee to be decided once established. Sinn Féin will oppose any attempt by the Minister to impose a chair on the Committee.” ENDS

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