TThe Workers Party has accused Simon Coveney of a hypocritical attitude to rulings by European bodies over his stance on the report by the Oireachtas committee on water

Workers’ Party representative for Dublin North West, Gavin Mendel-Gleason, has said that the position is totally inconsistent with Fine Gael’s response to European rulings on other issues.

Coveney likes to claim that ‘Brussels made me do it’, but the record shows that this is just a convenient excuse that Fine Gael like to roll out when they want to introduce an unpopular measure. There have been a raft of issues where Fine Gael have been content to ignore judgements from European bodies. The flip-flopping from Fine Gael on whether to bow down to the EU or just ignore them exposes their hypocrisy and cowardice.

Citing Fine Gael’s attitude to abortion rights and the Apple tax ruling, Mendel-Gleason continued:

Fine Gael is merely suggesting that the recommendations of the water report may not be legal, yet in the case of the Apple tax ruling, Europe has determined that the government’s actions are definitely illegal. Likewise, the European Court of Human Rights has determined that Ireland’s abortion laws are a violation of human rights, yet the government drags its heels to avoid dealing with the issue. They’ll fight to the bitter end to avoid Apple paying 13 billion in taxes, but the faintest whiff that there could be a legal argument that the implementation of the water report is illegal and they are sent running for the hills.

Mendel-Gleason concluded:

It is a testament to the ordinary people of this country that we are so close to defeating water charges. We need people to turn out in big numbers for the Right2Water march in Dublin this Saturday to send a message to Coveney and Fine Gael that there is no backing down now. Water charges must go completely.