Anna Kavanagh interviews Enda Craig on the Water Charges Betrayal

Anna Kavanagh live from Donegal interviews Enda Craig, Buncrana Together on what he sees as the great betrayal of the Irish people by Right2Water Unions and TDs.

Enda believes that it is now happening again and this time over the issue of the proposed Water Referendum. He contends that the wording is wrong because the proposal only deals with services. It is not looking at ownership of water or our right to a domestic water supply. He says that a barrister informed him that the law at present allows for the water allowances to be whittled away to nothing and could result in full water charges. This eventually will lead to privatisation in line with the competition laws of the Lisbon Treaty, Articles 102-106. He says the the present referendum delay could be a good thing because we could put pressure on the TDs.

It was the opinion of the barrister that if a person's right to a domestic water supply is enshrined in the Constitution then If the Government did try to reduce the allowances we would then have a very strong legal case to prevent that.

Irish Exemption

The Irish Exemption enshrined in Article 9.4 of the Water Framework Directive 2000 was unique to Ireland. It came about through previous anti water charges campaigns in the 1990s, bringing down one Government and forcing the incoming Fianna Fáil to insist Brussels add this 9.4 clause to the WFD. The importance of this article is that it recognised that Ireland has an established practice of funding domestic water supply through general taxation and this allowed the Irish Government to opt out of the EU’s pressure for full cost recovery.

You might think that any anti water charges group would fight tooth and nails to keep this exemption a defense mechanism against EU diktat. Right2Water barely lifted a finger.

Although it may not have been explicitly stated in Ireland’s 2nd River Basin Management Plan which has been sent to Brussels, it is our contention that the 9.4 clause still applies and this will be so until it is removed by EU. That could happen soon since, as we speak, the EU Commission is in the process of revamping the Water Framework Directive and no doubt 9.4 clause will get omitted. It remains to be seen whether any TDs will defend it.


Right2Water Ireland blocks Buncrana Together writer

I have been blocked by R2W for posting the comment below on facebook.  R2W seem pretty sensitivity over the issue of so called leadership accepting 'charging for excessive use'.   R2W can't answer the fact that their officials Stevie Fitzpatrick and Dave Gibney are on Dáil record agreeing charges for excessive use of domestic water during the Oireachtas Committee on Domestic Water debate February 2017.  My contention is that their acceptance opens the door to household metering.  How else can excessive use be measured?

by Enda Craig


Engineer , Mr Martin Lavelle asked R2W on their facebook page. on Aug 28 - " You tell me how a District Metering Zone meter can identify bone fide usage and leakages. You said it could. "

Two full days have come and gone since R2W was asked to explain how district metering can measure an individual daily allowance of water to each Irish home as they, R2W, have proposed.

No answer has so far been forthcoming.

Nor will there be one because it is an engineering impossibility.

R2W has signed up in your name ( listen to clip above ) in the Oireachtas Committee on Water Charges to a ' small daily ration of water with charges for excessive use ' .

This means they have accepted in your name, regardless of statements to the contrary, a domestic metering programme.

Right2WaterIreland's comment

"Right2WaterIreland Enda, we are R2W, you are Enda Craig, we will tell you our 'official position', you can do what you want with your own, but please have a little bit of decorum and stop misrepresenting us.  We have had an official position for more than two years now - one which was sanctioned by a conference of delegates from unions, political parties and community groups. You already know this. Your obsession with misrepresenting R2W is getting highly suspicious at this stage. If you keep it up, and keep spreading lies, we will block you from this page. Thanks"

So which is the official version, the above or one that is on Dáil records, in full video, supporting a statement on radio by Brendan Ogle agreeing with excessive or maybe it is R2W support for Lynn Boylan's (Sinn Féin) 2015 European Citizen's Initiative calling for 'excessive use charges'?

Community groups fighting back against Right2Water leadership

Member of 'Carrick Says No' comments on how the Anti Water Charge movement in Ireland has been hijacked by Right2Water leadership and urges communities to unite and do it ourselves.

It's up to us to unite and do it ourselves

The Right2Water leadership are losing support, credibility and relevance by the day. They never had a mandate to act in such a treasonous way and they have no mandate now. They were neither elected or voted in by us, to take over a people's movement and make decisions on our behalf. They (the unions) hijacked a movement and hand picked a group of individuals who would be loyal to them no matter what, and they controlled the community groups using all manner of tactics including bullying and intimidation. I canceled my Unite subscription once I saw this behaviour.

In hindsight how we ever believed that a union hatchet man ever had the interest or inclination to really support a citizens movement is beyond me. We expected dirty tricks from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael but not from the Left. The establishment to be fair (even though that's hard to say) have set out their stall and are pushing through on the policies that they believe in.

We have the opposite case with the slimy R2W TDs who now clearly are part of that establishment, who set out their stall but conspired against the people and their own policies. They are now sitting in silence and disbelief knowing they have been caught out.

For every crisis there is an opportunity or so they say. We know now that the current system cannot work as demonstrated by the betrayal of the R2W leadership so there is an opportunity for something new.

If we want people to help us save our 9.4 Exemption we have to be able to demonstrate to the ordinary docile and unconcerned citizen Why it is worth saving.  And because R2W leadership clearly has not done the job and are not going to, it's up to us to unite and do it ourselves.