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Irish News

Irish Water must go - Cllr Martin Lonergan

Super Quango in disarray, Irish Water must go - Cllr Martin Lonergan

Independent Tipperary County Councillor for Clonmel/Cahir Borough District, Cllr Martin Lonergan has said the game is up for Irish Water with its failure to meet the key Eurostat market test today.

Cllr Lonergan said: From the outset the story of Irish Water has been a disaster from the start and the cost to the taxpayer has been enormous. With millions of taxpayers money squandered in establishing the utility, it now seems fruitless with its failure to pass the Eurostat Market test and is a total embarrassment for the Government. When I ran for Public Office last year, I highlighted many fears surrounding the establishment of Irish Water. I had said that the Water Services responsibility should have remained within Local Authorities and that they should have been given the resources in terms of funding and staff to roll out a comprehensive plan for each local authority area. In terms of knowing where issues were, how they could be dealt with and projects to be prioritised, Local Authority staff on the ground would have the foresight and the ability, I feel, to comprehensively deal with the upgrading of our water supply and indeed wastewater services. It is now pointless that Ministers are coming out and saying there is no crisis within Irish Water. We now need to know how much Irish Water is paying on its borrowings. The Government can no longer claim Irish Water as commercially separate. Its loans now have to be counted on the national balance sheet and will, undoubtedly affect the Budgetary Process. Concluding Cllr. Lonergan added, It is now time for Fine Gael and Labour to admit that they made a mistake in setting up this hugely expensive utility instead of keeping our water infrastructure with local authorities and spending taxpayers money on improving the water supply and waste water services at a local level.