Group Water Scheme users in Galway are being “abandoned” by the Government and there are increased fears they will be “left to the mercy” of EU law and the Irish Water “privatisation agenda”.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Connemara candidate Tom Healy who said it was a “big mistake” for there to have been no consultation with the group water sector before the establishment of Irish Water.
There are a number of outstanding issues which remain to be resolved, such as debt write downs and formal takeovers, and Mr Healy has alleged that Irish Water is reluctant to engage with the group water sector this side of the local elections. For its part, Irish Water claims that, as of yet, it has received no direction from Government as to how the sector will be managed into the future.
“The most worrying aspect of this whole debacle is that the Government is contemplating delegating responsibility for some issues pertaining to group schemes to the Commission for Energy Regulation,” Mr Healy.
Mr Healy is concerned this could lead to a “clinical administration of EU law” by the commission with “no allowance being made” for the fact that group schemes are “voluntary, not for profit, organisations trying to provide an essential service to rural communities”.