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Proposed privatisation of our inland waters an obscenity - Ferris

3 November, 2006

Sinn Féin Marine spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has admitted to be shocked by media reports that the Government is considering plans to pass control of inland waterways to private companies. Labelling the proposal an ‘obscenity’, he branded those who believed commercial companies would conserve our natural resources as ‘naïve, fanciful and ridiculous’.


The Kerry North TD said: “I was genuinely astonished to see that the Government was even giving consideration to the handing over of the rivers and lakes of Ireland, owned by the Irish people, to private commercial interests. The idea is nothing short of obscene and it is bewildering to think of people giving such an outlandish notion any serious consideration.


“The report seems to suggest this should be done to curb pollution and protect fish stocks. The notion that private companies, focussed on extracting maximum profit in the shortest possible time from their assets, will be doing anything other than exploiting our resources, let alone conserving them, is naïve, fanciful and ridiculous. It is commercial interests who are causing much of the pollution in Irish waterways.


“A number of waterways in Ireland are already under private control, vestiges of the British occupation, the property of absentee landlords and the landed foreign aristocracy. We should be looking at ways of reasserting the ownership of the Irish people over these valuable waterways, not trying to hand those we have left over to the same people.


“I would call on all parties to express their disgust at this proposal in the strongest possible terms and I would make it clear that any attempt to implement this recommendation will be strongly resisted by Sinn Féin at every opportunity and in every possible forum.”



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