Imelda Munster – Honour Your Commitments on Irish Water

Imelda Munster at deskSpeaking yesterday in the Dáil Louth’s Imelda Munster TD had a clear message for the Government on the issue of Irish Water and their charges.

“The Government must now accept that they failed miserably to win the support of the people for their water tax, their quango that is Irish Water. The people had their day and their say on the 26th February.

“You see, despite what the government had been saying Water Charges WERE the single biggest issue that mobilised , rallied and ignited the spirit of protest and determination to fight back in the Irish people that had not been seen for decades. This was because the unfairness of the government’s austerity policies was obvious to everyone except the government. People recognised from  the start that Irish Water was a toxic entity.”

Continuing, the TD for Louth pointed out to the government that “the people knew that they were already paying for water through general taxation. They were also aware that they were paying PRSI, PAYE, Universal Social Charges, Motor Tax, LPT, Toll Charges, Bin Charges, A&E charges, and Emergency Service Charges. They were also aware that you had cut these services to the bone.”

Imelda Munster TD accused the government of heaping yet another tax “on to the working man and woman and those who could least afford to pay by a government hell bent on bulldozing this through regardless.”

“But how wrong you were!
“You did not break the back of the hundreds of thousands who mobilised on to the streets in every city, town and village across this state.”

And in a very clear message, Deputy Munster said “Any attempt to fudge addressing this issue by either short term suspension or by setting up a commission whereby a government and those propping them up will have a majority to veto abolition will not be tolerated.

“A democracy represents the will of the people and 90 TDs who pledged to abolish water charges were elected to this chamber and will be expected to honour their commitment given to the people.

“So let me be clear, the motion signed by 39 TDs calling for the abolition of water charges, and Irish Water is not going to go away. So I say to the incoming government and those propping them up—

“Honour your commitments, honour the mandate you were given, respect the will of the people Abolish water charges, abolish Irish Water and nothing less will suffice”.

Deputy Munster Dismayed over Disregard for Environment

imelda photo orangeLouth Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has expressed her dismay at Irish Water’s total disregard for the environment following the successful prosecution of the company by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Irish Water were prosecuted for failing to ensure sewage waste from a water treatment plant at Tinure did not cause pollution.

The fine imposed was to the value of €2,000 but Irish Water were given the option to donate this money to charity in order to avoid a criminal conviction.

Deputy Munster said she was “disillusioned as to why Irish Water appears to get away with causing pollution on a regular basis”.

“This isn’t the first instance of pollution by Irish Water. In the past eighteen months there have been two other incidents similar to this in Monaghan and Cavan, which saw Irish Water fined. These are only the incidents that we are aware of. It’s also worth noting that the company has only been fined €3,500 combined, despite the fact that each case could carry a maximum fine of €5,000.”

“There have also been calls on many occasions to investigate other areas, such as claimed sewage discharge in Doldrum Bay, Howth. Although the prosecutions have been welcomed, the EPA must go further in ensuring our waters remain pollution free. Repeat offenders must be actively discouraged from polluting and I feel that a combined fine of €3,500 does not have that effect on a company which is willing to spend another €88 million on meters which have the potential to become obsolete.”

“I will be raising the issue with the minister via parliamentary questions. I want to know what measures, if any, have been put in place to prevent incidents like these occurring in the future; how stringent these measures are; and have there been other allegations of pollution, and if so, have they been followed up?”

Deputy Munster pointed out that “if pollution was being carried out by a local farmer or business, the courts would be quick to deter them from committing such crimes again. It is baffling how Irish Water is continually punished with a slight slap on the wrist.”