Fine Gael's Simon Coveney interferes again in the Oireachtas Water Committee

Simon Coveney Fine Gael Housing Minister

Simon Coveney Fine Gael Housing Minister

Between the Minister for Housing,  Simon Coveney and the EU Commission,  Mr Pádraig Ó’Céidigh, chairman of the Oireachtas Water Committee was a busy man last week and walked a political tightrope, as it were.  Below is a recent letter, sent by Minister Coveney to the him on Thursday evening,  April 6th, 2017.

The letter was a response by the Fine Gael Government rejecting a draft report of a three month long Oireachtas Committee on Funding Domestic Water.  This Committee followed in the heels of an 'Expert Water Commission' set up early last year.

Minister Coveney says in his letter that he is not attempting to "in any way seek to interfere"  but urges the chairman to ensure that the "final draft report is, before adoption, subject to rigorous and fully objective legal scrutiny by a European law expert". 

It is not every day one sees a Minister being interested in objectivity and rigorous scrutiny, however, when one reads the letter in full and takes everythingthat has happened for the past year, his remarks are only a ruse and in facta contradiction in terms. 

This latest interference has prompted members of the Committee to complain to the Chairman.  See Irish Times article 'Simon Coveney accused of issuing threats water committee'

 

Coveney Letter


People Before Profit vow to block any move to water charges

Richard Boyd Barrett and others at the People Before Profit national conference in Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin: “The big wasters are the Government who have failed to fix the 40 per cent leaks in the water mains systems.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Richard Boyd Barrett and others at the People Before Profit national conference in Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin: “The big wasters are the Government who have failed to fix the 40 per cent leaks in the water mains systems.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

People Before Profit will oppose any attempt to bring in water charges including excessive use charges, according to its Dún Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

“We will resist anything that tries to leave the back door open to bringing those charges back in. Excessive use charges are that,” he said.

Speaking at the party’s annual press conference in Wynn’s Hotel in Dublin, he said “there’s no evidence whatsoever of wastage by householders in this country. The big wasters are the Government who have failed to fix the 40 per cent leaks in the water mains systems.”

The Oireachtas committee on water charges has agreed a draft plan that households using 70 per cent more than the normal usage limit could face financial penalties. He said water leaks “won’t be addressed and haven’t been addressed by water charges. It will be addressed by a major increase in public investment in the public water infrastructure and that’s what we’re fighting for.”

About 200 people attended the day-long conference for the party which has three TDs, one MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly and 11 councillors.

 

Full article: Irish Times April 2 2017 by Marie O'Halloran


Lough Foyle Carcinogens quietly forgotton

In light of a recent $670 million Dupont settlement in America we unearthed some information on pollution and chemical spills in and around Lough Foyle including a 1990 Irish Times'  article,  on carcinogenic chemicals found in Lough Foyle salmon,  an 1992 Independent article on an unreported chemical spill from DuPont (UK) Ltd.  Both are followed by an Irish Government debate at the time, such as it was.  Finally we include a 2016 Derry Now article on a suppressed 2014 study on effects of pollution on Derry residents.

Du Pont (UK) Ltd jetty at Maydown on Lough Foyle.  Coolkeeragh power station - centre

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Oireachtas Debate December 1991 on BIM report

click to view debate

click to view debate

This is the only Irish Government debate on the above report that we managed to get.  It is interesting to see the difference in emphasis between the BIM report and the response from the Irish Minister for the Marine Mr Wilson. 


click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge


Oireachtas Debate October 1992 on above toxic discharge.

Click to view debate     

Click to view debate

 

Minister of State Dept of Marine Mr. P. Gallagher"What disappoints me is that there was a structure in relation to the Foyle and there was no reason why the company could not have informed their Department of the Environment, who in turn could have informed Donegal County Council and the North-Western Health Board. "

 


2014 Pollution Report Suppressed

click Image to enlarge

click Image to enlarge