Mac Lochlainn calls to enshrine water services in public ownership
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Justice Pádraig Mac Lochlainn tonight called for a referendum to ensure that water service will remain in public ownership.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn spoke during a second stage debate on a Sinn Féin Bill, which if passed, would initiate a referendum proposing to amend the Constitution in order to retain the water services in public ownership.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
“Sinn Féin is seeking to ensure that the water service will not be privatised.
“Our Bill is about giving back ownership and control of water services and infrastructure to the people. It would safeguard our water and protect it from coming under the control of vulture capitalists or marketers.
“We propose to amend Article 40 to insert a new Section which would ensure that the state would recognise safe water as a fundamental right and that water services would remain in public ownership.
“Water is a right for all our citizens. Water charges being implemented by this Government are unnecessary, unjust and will cause huge hardship to families and communities who have already been devastated by the Government’s relentless pursuit of the austerity agenda.
“Sinn Féin is standing shoulder to shoulder with families, communities and campaign groups who are opposed to water charges. Our Bill is a measure to ensure that state assets remain in public ownership and exist for the benefit of Irish citizens.
“Water charges must be abolished and a referendum must be called to protect the public ownership of water.”