This article is taken from Oceanfm, June 21, 2017 where Enda Craig, Buncrana Together, takes on Thomas Pringle a member of the Right2Water TDs on the now defunct Oireachtas Committee on Domestic Water Charges. Buncrana Together continue the theme of the role played by the Right2Water TDs on that committee and what we can only see as a terrible and serious omission of any mention of the 9.4 Exemption in their report, draft or final.
We published an article last year, that explained this exceptional 'Irish Exemption' clause and why it must be included in any river basin management plan. It can be found here. However, the relevant 9.4 section below is the main clause of Article 9 of the Water Framework Directive 2000. We must emphasis that this exemption was a hard won clause brought about by past anti water charges campaigns in Ireland.
4. Member States shall not be in breach of this Directive if they decide in accordance with established practices not to apply the provisions of paragraph 1, second sentence, and for that purpose the relevant provisions of paragraph 2, for a given water-use activity, where this does not compromise the purposes and the achievement of the objectives of this Directive. Member States shall report the reasons for not fully applying paragraph 1, second sentence, in the river basin management plans.
A Donegel man has hit out at politicians involved in the campaign against water charges as failing the Irish people.
Activist Enda Craig has hit out at TDs including Independent Donegal TD Thomas Pringle for claiming victory on water charges too soon.
Donegal community activist Enda Craig who also campaigned against those charges says he was appalled to see the Right-to-Water charge campaigners claiming victory on the plinth of Leinster House In April, before the final report had been properly considered and voted on.
Mr. Craig says a vital 9.4 clause in the EU Water Framework Directive agreed years ago at a European level gives Ireland a unique exemption from charging domestic water charges..
He told North West Today, that TDs like Deputy Pringle should have fought harder to protect this clause which he says is not even mentioned in the final report:
Listen to 18 mins of the oceanfm debate below
This is the only explanation we have had to date from Right2Water over the issue of the premature claim of 'victory' that was based on a 'confidential' draft report and the omission of the 9.4 Exemption from any report. Unfortunately Mr Pringle sidesteps the questions and does not answer either. His excuse that the Right2Water TDs only made up 25% of the committee and Fianna Fáil 'did a complete U-turn' does not explain anything about the 'victory' claim or the omission of the 9.4 Exemption. However, Mr Pringle's response poses the question of why did they take part in an obvious rigged committee in the first place?