Friday 9 December 2016

TDs and senators flounder in sea of tedium and soggy soapbox speeches

Published 15/01/2014 | 02:30

Labour deputy Michael McCarthy,Chairman of the Oireachtas Environment Committee arriving for the meeting at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke.
Labour deputy Michael McCarthy,Chairman of the Oireachtas Environment Committee arriving for the meeting at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke.

WHAT can extinguish fire? Why, water of course. It was anticipated that there'd be a clatter of fireworks unleashed in Leinster House yesterday when the head of Irish Water faced an Oireachtas committee to supply the answers to a deluge of questions on exactly what a clatter of consultants did in order to earn millions from the public purse.

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But the fireworks didn't simply transmogrify into a damp squib, they turned into a sodden, boggy morass of tedium-inducing minutiae, meandering soapbox speeches thinly disguised as questions which were rewarded with far too few satisfactory answers.

The eager Oireachtas members were practically swinging from the (metaphorical) chandeliers when John Tierney, managing director of Irish Water plus a quartet of colleagues (colleagues, not consultants, you understand) filed in for their grilling from the Oireachtas Environment committee.

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