Joe O’Toole steps down as water charges commission chairman

The chairman of the expert commission on water charges Joe O’Toole has announced he is to step down from his position after comments he made in a candid interview in the Irish Examiner last week.
Mr O’Toole had said he found it “extraordinary” that left wing politicians are “opposed” to the ‘polluter pays’ principle and they, including AAA TD Paul Murphy, were “completely and utterly wrong” on the issue.
In a statement released this afternoon O’Toole confirmed he is withdrawing from the position of chair of the commission.

“It had been my firm intention to remain as Chair of the Expert Commission on Water,” read O’Toole.
“I was looking forward to progressing the important work of the Commission and proving my critics wrong. That was until Minister Coveney informed me that the main opposition party would not cooperate with Government on this and related issues for as long as I remained in the Chair.
“Effectively then for me to remain in situ would result in the Government being spancilled in implementing policy and enacting legislation. Despite the support of Minister Coveney this is a situation I am not prepared to countenance and therefore I am withdrawing from the position of Chair.
“Walking away is disappointing but it is the right thing to do in these circumstances. There are enough problems facing the Government without me adding to them.”

Original article: Irish Examiner July 5, 2016

Buncrana Together

Good persistent exposition of what might be called another quango. How otherwise could any sane person see this commission as?  Whether the other membersare experts, whether they are impartial remains to be seen. What can one expectwhen 'he who pays the pied piper'. 

Mr Coveney, who epitomises total impartiality in this matter   along with his government colleagues has stumbled from one hoodwink, lie,  to another in their quest to railroad water charges through.

What should have been donewas honour the wishes of the electorate.  This was clearlydemonstrated in the general election.  Instead we got a commission hand picked by Mr Coveney and their terms of reference set by someone who is totally impartial andgung ho about implementing them.  Mr Coveney made no bones about how he felt and as such any commission set up by him is prejudiced.   Even after all the statements by Mr O'Toole, Mr Coveney was prepared to stand by his apostle.

One thing I have to give Mr O'Toole is his honesty, something we have not got from any FG Minister.  Will we get honesty from other members of this so called 'impartial' commission?