Connolly raises doubts over independence of crypto report
By Kernan Andrews
The independent review into cryptosporidium outbreak, and the Galway City Council’s handling of the crisis, is to be completed by end of month. However Independent Cllr Catherine Connolly has “serious concerns” about the report’s independence.
Last summer Galway was rocked when it was discovered there was cryptosporidium and incidents of E-coli in the city’s drinking water supply. A report on the matter has been undertaken and its findings will be presented in the coming weeks.
According to Cllr Connolly however, two members of the review made a presentation to the members of the Corporate Policy Committee in City Hall last Monday and one of them was a former Dublin city manager.
She said that during the course of their presentation, the two men said that feedback was mixed in relation to how the crisis was handled by the city council but that the feelings and opinions they had heard from the business community and the tourist bodies was that the crisis had been handled “reasonably well and more importantly solutions found”.
“These comments are extraordinary given that the report has not been completed,” said Cllr Connolly, “and given that no reference was made at all to people who had suffered from the cryptosporidium bug.”
She also described as “extraordinary” the fact that the independent investigation committee set up to investigate how the water crisis was handled was consulting with the members of City Hall’s Corporate Policy Committee - made up of both city councillors and council management - a month before the independent report is to be published.
Cllr Connolly said there is a “conflict of interest” for the group in consulting with the management which includes the director responsible for water services.
“How could those supposedly investigating the water debacle seek to consult with city councillors and management all in the same room?” she asked.Cllr Connolly says this does “not bode well” in relation to the outcome of the report and that she will be raising this matter at the first available opportunity at council level.