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Three months after joining Renua, Galway county councillor James Charity has sensationally quit Lucinda Creighton's party, accusing it of "U-turns on its water charges policy" and for failing to support him on "issues of local importance".
A discussion by Galway city councillors on two different motions regarding the opposition of water charges and the dissolution of Irish Water led to some ugly scenes at City Hall this week, with one Fine Gael councillor labelling the Sinn Féin party as ‘hypocrites.’
In last week’s issue of the Mayo Advertiser (January 16, 2015) on page two we carried a story titled “Confusion in council chamber over vote on Irish Water motion.” Due to an editorial error, we failed to include a second amendment to the motion referred to in the article put forward by Cllr Lisa Chambers. We repeated the initial amendment put forward by Cllr Al McDonnell by error and attributed it to Cllr Chambers.
Mayo County Council took not one, but two votes on what appeared on the surface to be the same motion last Monday and ended up with two different results.
Galway County Council this week passed a motion to support the abolition of Irish Water. The motion was proposed by Fianna Fail councillor Michael Connolly and was debated at length at the meeting in Clonboo on Monday evening. Councillors expressed a mixed range of views on the issue but the overiding sentiment expressed was major disappointment with Irish Water.
Fixed rate water charges announced last nighty are only “‘a confidence trick” to “bribe hard-pressed families into paying, while Government pledges that Irish Water will not be privatised have met with scepticism from Galway councillors.
In the latest climbdown by the Government on its deeply unpopular water tax, charges are now set to be capped at €160 a year for families while a single adult household will pay an effective €60 rate.
Calls to scrap the controversial and publicly mistrusted quango of Irish Water have intensified with one former government TD declaring the body a “fiasco”.
The chief executive of the Galway City Council has described it as a good news story for local businesses that commercial rates in the city will remain at the same level for the fifth year in a row. Brendan McGrath was speaking as he unveiled the €76,000,000 budget for the city next year.
Irish Water ‘application packs’ will be burned as part of an anti-water charges protest in Galway this weekend, which could see thousands of people take to streets as momentum against the unpopular tax grows.