Oireachtas Retort takes a look at the people employed to sell you your own water. Remember Citizens, ‘Water Is Free. I Pay For My Water’.
Back in January, three years after the Troika’s arrival, the Irish media collectively decided to start caring about water. To their credit, they waited for legislation to pass before asking any awkward questions.
Two weeks earlier, on the day Irish Water became law, the entire opposition walked out of the Dáil. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan crossed the house with a glass of “glorified piss”, a new semi-state company was created but none of it was mentioned on RTÉ’s main evening news.
One detail to later emerge though, was not only had Irish Water spent fifty million on private-sector consultants in 2013. They were also hiring them.
The Irish Times reported:
Irish Water’s head of asset management Jerry Grant was the managing director of RPS (Ireland South) until August 2012. Elizabeth Arnett was head of project communications at the same firm until December 2012. She is now head of communications and corporate services in Irish Water.
RPS is a major international consultant firm that advises on energy and other major infrastructure projects.
Last night Irish Water said Mr Grant resigned from RPS in August 2012 and established his own consultancy as a water services specialist.
It said that he was doing work for the Irish Water programme (the project that was put in place to set up Irish Water) and later competed for his current position in April 2013.
The statement said Ms Arnett resigned her position in RPS in December 2012 and then joined the Irish Water programme as an employee of Bord Gáis Éireann.
Spin doctor Arnett popped up again this week when Gavin Sheridan of thestory obtained documents from the public relations department.
She is employed to sell you your own water. Pay particular attention to the Newspeak of the first slide: