Saturday 16 December 2017

Irish Water is a parable for what happens when bad policy is forced upon citizens

People listen to speeches outside the GPO on O’Connell Street during an Anti Water Charges protest last year. Photo: Tony Gavin
People listen to speeches outside the GPO on O’Connell Street during an Anti Water Charges protest last year. Photo: Tony Gavin
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

Irish Water is sinking. It has collided with a Titanic-sized iceberg - an obstacle constructed from a complex mix of political opportunism and public distrust of the utility. A hole gapes beneath its waterline.

Soon, the captain will give orders to launch the lifeboats, evacuating some of Irish Water's staff, and shortly afterwards it will turn on its nose and dive to the depths. On its way to becoming a footnote in history.

The Irish Water hulk is a parable for what happens when ministers dismiss deep-seated public anxiety surrounding the way water charges were implemented. For what happens when an ill-conceived and badly-executed policy is forced upon citizens. For what happens when a government refuses to listen.

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