Halligan to miss awkward water vote
Independent minister John Halligan is set to miss an awkward Dáil vote on a proposal to hold a referendum that would guarantee public ownership of water.
The proposal is contained in a Bill that Mr Halligan backed when he was in opposition. However, he will miss the vote on the matter later this week, as he will be on a trip to the Middle East.
Independent TD Joan Collins announced the Bill calling for a referendum on the public ownership of water, saying there is "deep concern" at the prospect of privatisation.
The Cabinet is likely to discuss its position today. An Independent Alliance spokesman said Mr Halligan's trip has been arranged for some time but that if he was here, he would vote with the Government.
A Fianna Fáil spokesman said the party secured agreement that water would be kept in public ownership in its deal to facilitate the Fine Gael-led minority Government.