Heated Sligo meeting hears attacks on charges and Irish Water
Sligo News File Online
If Irish Water or government believe opposition to water
charges has been defeated, last night’s meeting at Sligo’s
Institute of Technology will have well and truly put paid to
any such notion.
No opponent of the charges regime was present on the panel of speakers, which included Jerry Grant, Irish Water head of asset management, Fiona Regan, director of the DCU Water Institute and Roscommon-South Leitrim Independent TD, Michael Fitzmaurice.
This has not gone down well locally, with sources feeling the panel “lacked balance.”
Nevertheless, questions in what at times evolved into a
highly heated debate were generally articulate, passionate and
unwavering. Views were expressed with evident conviction, one
submission critically focusing on staff numbers and contractual
arrangements within the national water utility.
Irish Water is reportedly employing twice the number of staff –
4,000 of the total local authority personnel – it needs, the estimated
cost of which to water consumers has been put at upwards of
€2 billion to 2025.
“Paying twice for water” was also strongly brought to the fore,
showing that the public has not forgotten that Fianna Fail increased VAT etc. to cover the loss of income when they abolished the domestic water charge a number of years ago.
Metering also sparked ire from the floor, as did the issue of the
contract. One contributor said that while he was not against
metering as such, he considered the currently installed meters
“had been put in to fleece people.”
Citizens Movement Mayo were among the regional bodies
represented at the event.
EVERYONE WELCOME. The meeting kicks off at 8pm.