Sinn Féin TD and party spokesperson on water Eoin Ó Broin has called on the government and Fianna Fáil to commit to a referendum to enshrine the public ownership of water in the Constitution
Deputy O Broin was speaking in advance of a Dáil debate this Wednesday on a Bill, co-signed by Right2water TDs, that seeks to retain water ownership in public hands.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said: “In May this year, Sinn Féin used private members time to debate a motion, co-signed by Right2Water TDs, calling on the government to retain water ownership in public hands.
“During the last Dáil term, Sinn Féin published the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 3) Bill 2014, which also sought to enshrine the public ownership of water in the Constitution. Our record on this is very clear. Sinn Féin also urged the government to allow the expert commission on water to look at the privatisation issue within its terms of reference.
“However, the narrow terms of reference of the so-called expert Commission on water, as agreed on by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, did not include any commitment to look at any future risk of privatisation or any specific focus on retaining water in public ownership and management
“There is a very real fear out there that Fine Gael want to privatise water services. They claim they don’t so they should demonstrate that by supporting the constitutional amendment brought forward.
“There are also a number of those, now in government, who have in the past supported calls for a referendum on water ownership. In fact, John Halligan’s name is on the Bill this week.
“By the same token, Fianna Fáil cannot use the ongoing deliberations of the so called expert Commission as a valid excuse for voting down the Bill this week. If Fianna Fáil support this Bill it has every chance of moving to the next stage and they will have done the right thing on the issue for once.”