Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan says the answers for these Garda scandals have not been given and want answers from Tanaiste… The party says it’ll consider options after hearing from Tanaiste today and Commissioner attends committee on Thursday.
From top: Brendan Howlin; from left Former Irish Water head of PR Elizabeth Arnett, Labour TD and former Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Pat Tierney, CEO of Irish Water in December 2014
It’s all free water under the bridge.
“We were under the cosh to build a huge utility like Irish Water. To get a national metering programme in place and charge for water in the space of three years, which we just should have said no to. I’m sorry we didn’t.
“Within Government, we certainly had that battle with Fine Gael. At a critical point, the decision we made was to stick with it as opposed to pulling down the Government at that stage.
“Because we were afraid of the consequences for our country if we pulled the Government down. But we paid too high a price for that and we should certainly have stood our ground in relation to Irish Water.
“This was one of the things we had to make progress on. Because they were signing off monthly on the paycheck for the nation, in order for us to pay pensions and pay the cost of wages and so on.
“Under normal circumstances, that should have been a ten year project. I certainly think it was handled badly.”
Brendan Howlin, Labour Party Leader in today’s Irish Mirror
Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has said that there cannot be a situation where people decide to not pay their water bill.
It follows on from Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s comments on Monday night, in which he refused to rule out measures that could mean unpaid charges are recouped from peoples’ wages and social welfare payments.
Outside the Dáil fellow Labour politician, Minister Brendan Howlin told UTV Ireland
“There can’t be a situation where anyone of us decide not to pay our bills. If you come to a supermarket checkout and decide “Nah, I’m not paying the bill” and walk off – that’s just not the way the system works.”
You may recall how Ellen Coyne and Catherine Sanz, of The Times Ireland Edition, went undercover at an ‘abortion advice’ centre in Berkeley Street, Inns Quay, Dublin 7.
Last month, they reported how a woman working at the clinic, who claimed to be a counsellor, told Ms Sanz that when a pregnancy ended unexpectedly a woman’s reproductive system could be damaged and that it could cause breast cancer.
Ms Sanz was also told that abortion could lead to women abusing their children in the future.
Further to this…
Ms Coyne reports this morning:
Unregulated crisis pregnancy agencies will be made illegal under a new bill proposed in response to an undercover investigation by The Times.
Brendan Howlin, the Labour leader, is hoping to pass the “much-needed” legislation as soon as possible after a clinic run by a Catholic group was exposed claiming that abortions could cause breast cancer and turn women into child abusers.
The bill, introduced to the Dail yesterday, would amend the Health and Social Care Professionals Act to add crisis pregnancy counsellors to the list of health professions regulated by the state. The move would make them subject to checks and any complaints against them would be examined.
… The [Women’s Centre on Berkeley Street] centre is linked to the Good Counsel Network, a Catholic anti-abortion group that holds protests outside clinics in Britain and has defended the Magdalene laundries. It is also connected to a man who was found in a 1999 High Court case to have used a similar clinic to illegally adopt a baby from a woman who had been talked out of an abortion.
Musicians, including songwriter Phil Coulter Johnny, Duhan, Michael English, Tony Allen, Sibéal Ní Chasaide, Ruaile Buaile, Moxie and John Sheahan of The Dubliners, join Labour TDs, including party leader Brendan Howlin, to help launch the Music Bill 2016 calling for legislation for an Irish Music quota for music in Irish Radio.
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has won a new role advising Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
Mr Varoufakis quit the Greek government in July last year after refusing to accept the terms of a third bailout, which imposed further austerity measures on the debt-stricken country.
Mr Corbyn says Mr Varoufakis has recently met shadow chancellor John McDonnell and will advise Labour in “some capacity”.
“Varoufakis is interesting because he has obviously been through all the negotiations (with the ECB, European Commission and International Monetary Fund),” he told his local newspaper the Islington Tribune.
“I think the way Greece has been treated is terrible and we should reach out to them.”