Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Luke Ming Flanagan challenged Minister with Responsibility for NewEra Project (Natural Resources and Environment), Fergal O’Dowd, with a bottle of water taken from Co.Roscommon.
“What are you going to do about the people who live outside my town, Castlerea…who are forced to drink this? The people in my area are expected to drink glorified piss and you are going to charge them for it. Well the reality is we’re not going to pay for it. And I’ve a challenge for you here today minister. I’m going to present you with this water and I’m going to challenge you to drink it and if you don’t drink it you’re not drinking it for a reason, because it’s poison. It’s got cryptosporidium in it. Kids outside my town cannot even brush their teeth with it and you’re going to charge them for it. So I have a present for you minister and I’m going to give it to you now…”
The fight against water charges being made for non potable water is something that ‘Ming’ has championed for quite some time. The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett, reacted by calling Ming’s actions:
“an act of vandalism…never before in the history of this chamber have I seen such behaviour. Of a member walking down and handing a glass of dirty water to a minister. That is just outrageous and unacceptable behaviour and I’ve asked for an immediate meeting of the Committee for Procedure and Privileges to deal with this matter.”
While it’s acceptable to institute water charges for contaminated water it’s ‘outrageous’ to highlight this in the Dáil. We should have just locked the doors on that place when they were all there at their last piss up/referendum and thrown away the key.