Government ‘clutching at straws to avoid admitting defeat on water’ – Boylan
Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has questioned the Government’s reluctance to consider any legal advice other than the Attorney General’s, including that of the legal counsel of the Oireachtas. The Dublin MEP expressed her surprise at this stance considering the criticism of the AG in the Fennelly Report.
Ms Boylan said:
“The reluctance of the Government to consider any legal opinion other than the AG smacks of desperation. We have reached the stage where the advice of the Oireachtas legal counsel has been dismissed as ‘not proper advice’.
“I have sought independent legal counsel which has not highlighted any illegality in abolishing domestic water charges or the metering programme. In addition, the only legal precedent in relation to the Water Framework Directive found in favour of the member state, stating that water services could be excluded from cost recovery provided that the objectives of the framework were met, namely the protection and preservation of water resources.
“Considering the criticism of the AG contained within the Fennelly Report, I would be hesitant if I were Minster Simon Coveney to rely too heavily on only one source of advice in this case, particularly given the apparent contradictions in Ms Whelan’s given evidence to the Fennelly Commission.
“The Minister and the Government are simply clutching at straws to avoid admitting defeat in the fight against domestic water charges.”