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Gerry Adams calls water charges in Republic an 'ongoing farce' and a 'comedy of errors'

Published 22/11/2016

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin has called for the appointment of Independent senator Padraig O'Ceidigh as chair of a new committee on water charges to be put to a Dáil vote.

Mr O'Ceidigh’s appointment was agreed following talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, but Sinn Fein has now accused Minister Simon Coveney of stepping “entirely beyond his remit” in announcing the move.

Gerry Adams described the situation as an “ongoing farce” and a “comedy of errors”.

The Commission on Water Charges is due to report back to the Oireachtas at the end of the month, when a 20 member all-party committee will try to reach a consensus on the issue.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny dismissed Sinn Féin's concern about the appointment of the chairperson, saying Mr Adams had once promised to pay his own charges.

“Then when you heard the sound of marching feet out in Tallaght you reversed engines,” he said.

The Taoiseach added that Mr O'Ceidigh’s selection came on foot of the confidence and supply arrangement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

“I’m quite sure that he will fulfil his remit in this regard in a fair, clear and objective way,” he told the Dáil.

He said Fine Gael had always maintained a clear position that people should pay for water – but said they sat down with Fianna Fail in order “to make this government work”.

Mr Adams said the deal was “all about getting Fianna Fail off the hook on this issue and getting you back into power”.

Irish Independent

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