The Workers’ Party has described the Louth / Meath area water crisis as “a national disaster” and the party has called for local authority resources from other counties to be brought in to assist in restoring the water supply as a matter of urgency.


Seamus McDonagh

WP Meath representative Seamus McDonagh

Meath Workers’ Party representative Seamus McDonagh said the situation of up to 100,000 people in the North East was intolerable and he accused Irish Water of gross incompetence.
McDonagh said that the company had been a complete waste of public money which should have been given to local councils over the years to forestall exactly this type of crisis through timely repair and upgrading of water and sewerage infrastructure.
He said: “In 1983 the then Fine Gael / Labour coalition increased PRSI by over 4%, with similar increases in VAT. This, we were told, would be partly used to fund local authority services including water. However it was from the same period that major spending cuts on infrastructure began. This left us with the legacy of leaking and deteriorating pipes that we have today.”
“The Workers’ Party have been calling for the upgrade of water and sewerage infrastructure for decades. We and others warned of the consequences of deliberate neglect. Local people in Meath and Louth, including council workers, warned about the condition of pipes yet they were ignored. Now Irish Water is singularly unable to deal with the situation and their primary response has been a public relations one. They should be stood down so that the local authorities can get on with the job.”, said McDonagh.
“This week marks the fourth anniversary of the establishment of Irish Water. In that time the company has soaked up anything up to €4 billion of public money. It has concentrated on installing unwanted water meters and has failed utterly to reach targets for upgrading the national water supply system”,
“The lives and health of our citizens are too important to allow this farce to continue. The sole purpose of Irish Water has been as a vehicle for water charges and privatisation. Thanks to people-power it has failed utterly in this and thanks to its own ineptitude it has failed as a water utility. With €4 billion of taxpayer’s money and €11 billion worth of local authority infrastructure, Irish Water has been the greatest drain on this economy apart from the banking crisis. It is time for it to go”, said the Workers’ Party representative.