DONEGAL Right2Water Donegal has slammed Fianna Fail over their stance on water charges, claiming the party has lied to the people who elected them in good faith.
They have said that prior to the General Election, Fianna Fail claimed water charges were a “red line issue” and that Fianna Fail candidates’ leaflets outlined promises to “abolish Irish Water and to suspend water charges for 5 years”. “However, since elected to Dail Eireann, the party has rowed back on this pledge and now seems reluctant to follow through on this promise by claiming people should pay their water charges,” said spokesperson Owen Curran.
“On Thursday last, TDs gathered in the Dail to vote in a new Ceann Comhairle and Taoiseach. No Taoiseach was elected and we were treated to a display that would have been better suited in a classroom rather than the seat of the Government,” added Mr Curran.
Despite efforts by Pearse Doherty and Paul Murphy to have water charges discussed when the Dail reconvenes on March 22nd, Fianna Fail cynically voted against having the issue put on the agenda.
Right2Water chairperson Charlie Mc Dyer added: “Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has unearthed evidence that the EU did not direct Ireland to implement water charges, despite Government ministers insisting that this was the case. Ireland must submit a River Basin Management Scheme, due on March 22nd. The current River Basin Management Scheme for Ireland has not been adopted by the EU Commission and won’t be before March 22nd. This River Basin Management plan must be now be withdrawn and amended to reflect the wishes of the electorate. It begs the question…..who is really insisting on forcing water charges on citizens and why has Fianna Fail suddenly done a U-Turn on the issue?”
“Right2Water is now calling on Charlie Mc Conologue and Pat the Cope Gallagher to explain to the electorate, many of whom voted for them in good faith, why the party now has no interest in abolishing Irish Water,” added Ms McDyer.
“People deserve better than this. Many voted for Fianna Fail believing that they would follow through on their promises and instead we have more of the same self-serving, usual way of doing politics. The Election result reflects that the Irish people want a different way of conducting politics. They want change and it’s high time TDs sat up and listened instead of pocketing huge salaries and sitting insulated in Dail Eireann” Ms Mc Dyer concluded.
Right2Water intends to operate street stalls across the County in the coming weeks in order to garner public support and put pressure on politicians.
“They may drag their feet about forming Government” added Owen Curran, “but the anti-water charge movement shows no sign of going away. Many people continue to withhold payment and our campaign will continue until water charges are scrapped , Irish Water is disbanded and replaced with a national utility that is not set up to facilitate privatisation, and we secure a referendum to keep our water in public ownership”.