Irish News

Thursday 24 July 2014

Rebel council ‘to fold today’ over Irish Water

Greg Harkin

Published 13/01/2014|11:36

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A REBEL council says it will fold today in protest at the government’s handling of Irish Water.

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Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein councillors in Donegal – who together hold the majority in the authority – voted not to pass a budget proposal from Labour and Fine Gael a week ago.

A loophole in legislation allowed them to return to the council chamber in Lifford this morning to vote again.

But today councillors warned they will let Donegal County Council fold, unless the transfer of €350 Million worth of assets from the council to Irish Water is stopped.

“I believe the whole country is finally wakening up to what is going on and people are disgusted that €50 million has already been spent on consultants,” said Cllr Ciaran Brogan, the leader of Fianna Fail in Donegal told independent.ie

“We met as a party at the weekend and we will continue to maintain our stand on behalf of the Donegal ublic and send a clear message to the management of this Council as well as Minister Phil Hogan that the people of this county have suffered enough and will no longer accept these savage cuts from this Government.

“Our position has been reaffirmed in recent days with many of the revelations which have come to light.”

He added: “This in effect shows that the lack of information and difficulties in attaining contact from Irish Water has been a smoke screen and an audacious attempt to push ahead with a revenue generating mechanism called Irish Water.

“Minister Hogan rammed through legislation before Christmas where all of the opposition TD’s walked out of the Daíl, he and his Government are neither prepared nor willing to listen to a view point other than his own or his party’s which flies in the face of democracy.”

Council management say they will be forced to write to Minister Hogan tomorrow (Tuesday) and his officials will set the 2014 budget.

Community groups fear they will lose out.

“They rely on the grants included in the proposals I backed,” said independent councillor Frank McBrearty.

“Civil servants from Dublin may well decided who gets what this year and I fear €2M in funding to community and arts groups will not be paid out.”

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