Calls to scrap the controversial and publicly mistrusted quango of Irish Water have intensified with one former government TD declaring the body a “fiasco”.
Former Labour, and now Fianna Fáil Galway East TD, Colm Keaveney has called on the Government parties to shut down the “on-going debacle” of Irish Water and “show some humility by admitting that they have got this issue badly wrong”.
The absence of Government TDs and councillors at last weekend’s anti-water taxes protest, which saw 10,000 people take to the city streets, has left a sour taste among the public. Independent city councillor Catherine Connolly believes it shows the level of “disconnect between the Government and the people”.
“Threatening people with penalties and punishment as a response to the protest is infantile in the extreme and also not very effective psychologically,” she said.
“The Government is deliberately, or otherwise, failing to grasp that we already pay for our water services through the payment of taxes and failing to realise that people respond best to positive encouragement.”
Sinn Féin senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh is calling on all elected representatives in Galway to “stand behind the people of Galway and Ireland” in opposing the water charges.
He said Galway TDs, senators, MEPs, and councillors who “say they do not agree with water charges” and “the way Irish Water is imposing them” should withdraw their support for the Government parties, or any voting pacts that support them, “until they get a commitment that the water charges will be scrapped”.
Sen Ó Clochartaigh called on Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív, as well as councillors like Mike and Ollie Crowe and Mary Hoade, to “call on their leadership to change their stated policy of supporting water charges in principle”.
Right2Water Galway which was involved in organising last weeks protest said “the Government is really on the ropes now”. However R2WG organiser Dette McLoughlin warned, “if the water charge is implemented the bills will inevitably increase”.