Oireachtas members lobby President Higgins not to sign into law the Water Services Bill.

‘Coalition used its majority in the Oireachtas to force Bill through against the clear wishes of  the people.’

Sligo News File Online.

Oireachtas Sinn Féin Whip Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said that his party, along with the Technical Group and other Independents have today written to President Michael D Higgins to urge him not to
sign into law the Water Services Bill.

Speaking this afternoon Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Having clarified with the Office of the President that a joint petition under Article 27 of the Constitution would be out of order as both Houses of the Oireachtas have now passed the bill,  Sinn Féin, the Technical Group and some other Independents are now asking that the President invokes Article 26 and exercises his powers within the Constitution.

“We have written to the President and asked him to do just that.

“The will of the people has been clearly illustrated on this issue with thousands demonstrating outside Leinster House on 10th December. However, the Fine Gael and Labour coalition used its majority in the Oireachtas to force this Bill through against the clear wishes of the people.

“We believe that every consideration must be given to every option within the democratic process which can potentially stop this legislation becoming law.”

“The Irish people should have the right to decide on an issue of such national importance through a referendum.”

Text of the letter to President Higgins:

Mícheál D. Ó hUiginn

Uachtarán na hÉireann

Áras An Uachtaráin

Páirc an Fhionnuisce

Baile Átha Cliath 8

 Máirt 23 Nollaig 2014

A Uachtaráin, a chara,

Under Article 26 of Bunreacht na hÉireann we request that you consider declining to sign and promulgate as a law the Water Services Bill 2014 on the ground that the Bill contains a proposal
of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained.

We make this request on the grounds that:

1. There is such a degree of widespread public opposition to the imposition of charges for water as proposed under Section 3(2) of the Bill that such a proposal should be put to the people by way
of referendum or by holding of a general election before such charges are introduced.

2. The proposed plebiscite on the ownership of Irish Water in section 2 of the Bill does not satisfy demands for a constitutional referendum to enshrine the public ownership of Irish Water into the Constitution.

3. The proposal in Section 3(3) of the Bill which will require households who are unable to drink the water in their taps due to contamination to pay 50% of their water charges is fundamentally unjust.

Sínithe ag:

Brian Stanley TD;

Gerry Adams TD;

Seanadór David Cullinane;

Seanadór Trevor Ó Clochartaigh;

Seanadór Kathryn Reilly;

Jonathan O’Brien TD;

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD;

Mary Lou McDonald TD;

Michael Colreavy TD;

Seán Crowe TD;

Pearse Doherty TD;

Dessie Ellis TD;

Martin Ferris TD;

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD;

Sandra McLellan TD;

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD;

Peadar Toibín TD;

Róisín Shorthall TD;

Tommy Broughan TD;

Catherine Murphy TD;

Richard Boyd Barrett TD;

Ruth Coppinger TD;

Joan Collins TD;

Thomas Pringle TD;

Joe Highins TD;

Finian McGrath TD;

Mick Wallace TD;

Shane Ross TD;

Maureen O’Sullivan TD;

Paul Murphy TD;

Mattie McGrath TD;

Thomas Fleming TD;

Stephen Donnelly TD;

Clare Daly TD;

Seanadór Gerard Craughwell

Seamus Healy TD;

John Halligan TD;

Michael Fitzmaurice TD.