Who is on committee examining future of water charges?

Committee chaired by Independent Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh to meet this Tuesday

by Sarah Bardon, Irish Times

Twenty Oireachtas members will sit on the committee examining the future of water charges.

The committee, which will be chaired by Independent Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh, is due to meet for the first time next Tuesday to consider how it will conduct its work.

One of the key issues will be whether it will invite witnesses to give evidence or simply consider the report’s recommendations.

It has a number of questions to examine, including whether water services will be funded by a new tax or by adjusting existing taxes.

Another is whether it will allow the Commission of Energy Regulation determine the daily allowance for households.

The key test for the committee will be whether its recommendations will be in keeping with the European Union water framework directive.

The committee will have three months to reach a final conclusion and its recommendations will be sent to the Dáil for a vote.

Nine of the 20 TDs on the committee are in favour of water charges, five support outright abolition and the five Fianna Fáil TDs will not adopt a final position until after the committee concludes its work.

The other member is the chair, who has been meeting with individual members over the past two days to seek consensus on how the committee will work.

PARTY: Fine Gael

POSITION: The party is in favour of water charges


Martin Heydon, Kildare South TD and chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party; Colm Brophy, Dublin South West TD; Jim Daly, Cork South West TD; Alan Farrell, Dublin Fingal TD; Kate O’Connell, Dublin Bay South TD; and Paudie Coffey, Waterford Senator.

PARTY: Fianna Fáil

POSITION: Water charges should be abolished and services should be funded through general taxation


Barry Cowen, Offaly TD; Willie O’Dea, Limerick City TD; Mary Butler, Waterford TD; John Lahart, Dublin South-West TD; and Lorraine Clifford-Lee, Dublin Fingal Senator

PARTY: Sinn Féin

POSITION: Supports abolition of charges


Eoin Ó Broin, Dublin Mid-West TD; and Jonathan O’Brien, Cork North-Central

PARTY: Anti-Austerity Alliance and People before Profit

POSITION: Supports abolition of charges


Paul Murphy, Dublin South West TD


POSITION: Supports provision of charges


Jan O’Sullivan, Limerick City TD

PARTY: Independents4Change

POSITION: Supports abolition of charges


Thomas Pringle, Donegal TD.

GROUP: Social Democrats and Green Party grouping

POSITION: Social Democrats are in favour of abolition, while the Green Party advocates in favour of water charges.

MEMBERS: 2 - Senator chosen by the Seanad

Séamus Healy TD for Tipperary (supports abolition) and Senator Grace O’Sullivan (supports retention of water charges).

GROUP: Rural Alliance

POSITION: Majority in favour of retention of water charges


Source: Irish Times, Dec 2, 2016