O’Dea blasts Government on Irish Water Eurostat ‘disaster’

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

An 'unmitigated disaster': Willie O'Dea
FIANNA Fáil TD Willie O’Dea has called Irish Water “an unmitigated disaster” after it failed to pass the EU Eurostat test this week, which means it will have to stay on the State’s balance sheets until 2020.

FIANNA Fáil TD Willie O’Dea has called Irish Water “an unmitigated disaster” after it failed to pass the EU Eurostat test this week, which means it will have to stay on the State’s balance sheets until 2020.

Deputy O’Dea has said that the Government’s water policy is “now in tatters” after it failed the Eurostat test.

“Who in the government is going to take responsibility for this mess? The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and successive ministers have expressed confidence and satisfaction with Irish Water despite persistent warnings from Fianna Fáil about the problems it was storing up,” he said.

Deputy O’Dea now wants to know how much Irish Water is paying on its borrowings, adding that it “can’t claim commercial confidentiality as it has no competitors”.

“We need to compare what rate it is paying compared to the State’s borrowing. This is the worst of all worlds because Irish Water is almost certainly paying a higher rate for its loans which now have to be counted on the national balance sheet.

“It is time for Fine Gael and Labour to admit that they made a mistake in setting up a hugely expensive Super Quango instead of keeping our water infrastructure with local authorities and spending the money on improving the water network,” he said.

Sinn Féin Councillor Maurice Quinlivan has called on the Government to abolish Irish Water and its “unfair”water charges, saying that the entire rationale for the organisation was always “flawed”.