Business Ploughing Championships

Monday 26 September 2016

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan on Irish Water: 'I don’t agree that there’s a mess... you'll have to ask Minister Alan Kelly'

Geraldine Gittens

Published 24/09/2015 | 09:21

Phil Hogan
Phil Hogan

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said he doesn't agree that Irish Water has spiralled into "a mess".

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The Commisioner, who oversaw the establishment of Irish Water in his former role as Environment Minister, said he did what was required of him by the Troika.

“First of all I don’t agree that there’s a mess and second of all I introduced what was required of me under the Troika and you’ll have to ask the Minister for the Environment for the rest."

"He’s in charge of water, and Irish Water, and the delivery of a very important product called water. I’m European Commissioner for Agriculture and everywhere I go there is a demand for more resources to be provided to give more quality and quantity of water,” he said.

Mr Hogan is visiting the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois where he had officially announced a new broadband pilot scheme for Ratheniska.

The scheme will deliver Ireland's first 100pc fibre-optic broadband network to 50 regional towns.

“Instead of digging our roads, they’re able to use existing network in order to deliver broadband to the remote rural areas."

“This particular community model is a very exciting opportunity to have broadband penetration and service provision available in many rural communities,” he said today.

"This is a very essential piece of work because ICT and broadband are going to be the key towards precision agriculture and the key towards ensuring that people can work and get the best services in remote rural areas that they haven’t been getting up to now.”

During his visit to Ratheniska, Mr Hogan will also visit the ploughing fields themselves. The results of the competition are due to be announced later today at 6pm.

Competition results for the Aldi junior baking and brown bread baking competitions will also be announced, along with the Poem for the Ploughing.

The morning sun is beaming down as crowds descend on Ratheniska for another action-packed day at the National Ploughing Championships.

On the Irish Independent Talks stage at Stand 389 today are:

  • Jockey Bryan Cooper in conversation with Irish Independent sports writer Colm Keyes at 12.30pm
  • Chef Paul Flynn in conversation with the Farming Independent’s Darragh McCullough at 1pm
  • Patrick Mullins, of the Mullins horse racing dynasty in conversation with Colm Keye

We’ll be bringing you updates right throughout the day on www.independent.ie, and on Twitter @independent_ie.

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