I think we should pay for water. I think we should pay for water when it is fair and just. I think we should pay for water when and only when It belongs entirely to us in perpetuity.

We were never taught the words ‘preserve’ ‘purify’ and ‘supply’. We were only taught ‘Install and Pay’. How much did Irish water pay the PR communications people for that?

If you want to talk about the right to life water is number one. It is not actually a right to life. There is no life without it. We are 60% water. Our heart is 73% water. Our lungs are 83% water and 93% of what we consume is water. Water is life. Without it life doesn’t exist There is nothing to compare with water. Unless you want to live on mars where it is frozen

Irish water must be enshrined in the constitution for the Irish people in perpetuity. That is the beginning and end of the argument. Not to do it would be a national travesty.

The World Bank has privatised water in hundreds of countries in exchange for loans. Nestlé bottles African water and sells it as their own calling it pure life. The privatization of pure life. Countries have been beggared and brought to their knees by Vulture funds, bank speculators, corporations who own the rights to their water who put up the bills, beggar the poor and rape the countries of their natural resources. Because they are poor and owe money.

The privatisation of state water companies around the world always have one common denominator. It is made under the pressure of international lenders in countries with large debt or under the pressure of multinational corporations and politicians in countries with a strong economy.

Today large companies own 34% of the water market. Well they won’t own 35.

Privatisation is about hard technology and purchase of water rights. The World Bank rushed in to congratulate the multinationals in Argentina but the government had to re-nationalise.T hey privatised the water in South Africa but had a cholera outbreak in the poorer areas and the private companies are still disconnecting the water of the poor.

The World Bank ran into Tanzania. Privatised the water for loans, wrecked the water supply. Tanzania had to re- nationalise. The World Bank ran into the Philippines, privatised the water, wrecked the water especially with the poor. They had a cholera epidemic within the first year. France reverted its water system. Took it out of privatisation and gave it back to municipality of Paris. In Germany water agencies are owned by the public. The Netherlands declared by law that no private agency could go near the water. The European commission requires the selling of water supply for the financial bailout of Greece and Portugal.

It could never happen here you say.  You are right, do you know why?

The Irish people will not allow it. It is owned by the people for the people.

Mr. [John] Tierney [CEO Irish Water] standing with you minister [Alan Kelly] yesterday said, ‘I want to apologise to my customers’

What customers was he referring to? I am not his customer. He will have no customers

In the water services act as guillotined through by the government we have legislation to protect Irish water for the people this is true. But the legislation is loose, wayward and can be interrupted and Realigned to suit a purpose. I don’t trust it. As it stands the Irish people shouldn’t trust it.

Irish water is a subsidiary of a private/public company Bord Gais. Bord Gais has already sold Bord Gais energy installation and retail to Centrica. Centrica are the British company who bought it for 1.12 billion. Centrica’s canny Irish move with our government fast-tracking a privatisation programme. There are those who have argued that Bord Gais energy was sold on the cheap. Especially the sale of the retail business and the Whitegate plant

A key reason to give Irish water to Bord Gais was the synergies between their retail operations They are now gone. Why is Irish water entangled with a private/public company And don’t tell me about off balance sheet. That is accountancy trickery.

The Taoiseach says he would never sell Irish water. I believe him.

Fine Gael said they would never sell Irish water. I believe them

Labour said they would never sell Irish water. I believe them

Fianna Fail say they would never sell Irish water I believe them

The independents said they would never sell Irish water. I believe them

Sinn Féin said they would never sell Irish water. I believe them

But I do not trust the future.I have hope in it but I do not trust it. No one knows what is going to happen in the next eight months not to mention the next twenty years. I want my child my grandchildren to know that Irish water will be theirs in perpetuity

There can be no privatisation and everything must be done to protect that

Arguments that if you were to do this other utilities would demand such an enshrinement. This is crazy, puerile and actually stupid. There is no comparison to anything else on this planet to water. Water is oil. That is why the vulture funds, the swagmen and the world banks are at the sea shore. To make a profit.

I think water should be preserved
I think water should be purified
I think water should be supplied
I think water should be paid for

It should be fair, It should be just, It should be affordable, but it can only be these things if it is ours. Not semi ours. Not private/public ours. Not under the wing of Bord Gais. Ours. Not a bit ours. Not half ours. But constitutionally referendumly ours.Then you might start talking to the people about what is theirs, what they should do with it, how they should best do it and why they should personally invest in it.We cannot treat water as the largest company on earth. When we view water in economic terms as a man servant relationship we make a fundamental change about ourselves.

We must enshrine it in the Constitution

You must be Brave, Creative, Worthy and Valiant.

Senator Marie Loiuise O’Donnell in the Seanad today before the government defeat in a vote on  a referendum on Irish Water.

(Screengrab: Agenda,ie)

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59 thoughts on “Pure Rage

  1. ivan

    Holy cow – i saw the header here, and thought to myself ‘Marie Lousie – she’s Enda’s shill alright.’


  2. Clampers Outside!

    Fair play, about time too.

    But lads and lassies, she’s not saying anything I haven’t heard on here already and for a few months now.

    Where were the likes of herself before this?

    ‘About time’ would be better praise than ‘well done’, for me anyway.

    1. endasboy

      Ah now, Clampers, come on… you’re not buying it, are you?

      Marie-Louise got the memo yesterday evening from The Enda Office: change of strategy – water is precious blah blah the essence of life blah blah it if of and from the people blah blah it must and will always belong to the people blah blah and, ahem, we should pay for it too.

      They’ve obviously copped that the water fiasco has got out of hand and could actually topple the government. And they’ve identified too that the opposition to water charges is 1/4 the usual protesting against everything and 3/4 genuinely concerned about how this has been handled and where it might be headed. This new strategy and change of tact is designed to appease the 3/4 – and thereby castrate the unifying movement against water privatisation. It will probably be a success.

      Expect many more to come out with variations of ML’s line in the days ahead. Once it’s been confirmed that this line is going down well with the electorate, Enda himself will take ownership of it and spin it as its own.

      1. Niallo

        Nice speech, Thats what senators are for.
        I could make a nice speech…
        Dilute the issue.
        coming soon, super enda saves the day and defends us (appears to) from the bad men.

      2. Clampers Outside!

        No. I’m not buying anything.

        This much is for sure – Enda & Co, FG and Labour have had no intention of securing Irish Water from privatisation and I believe would have wanted to keep it out of the constitution. I believe that has changed now. That’s all.
        My point really was that, yep, good speech, sternly delivered but it’s only about time it was said. Now we can continue focus on IW itself and it’s machinations :)

        I’ve paid for nuttin boy!

  3. Kevin keegan

    Fairly impressive,could have been siad sooner, but appreciated.

    Now we need somebody else to openly & as eloquently express why we shoudl not pay for water twice.

    1. Kazuya

      Rape is also defined in the English language as “an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation:”. As used in the term “rape and pillage” when you might be talking about Viking raids etc.

  4. Mr. T.

    Irish Water is 100% about privatization of water supply. And it’s about selling the data of customer base because it’s linked to PPS numbers which are linked to so much information about us.

    It’s just part of the moving of public resources into private hands under the stewardship of bought-off/blackmailed politicians by the people who REALLY call the shots.

    And they are the owners and controllers of huge international corporations who specialize in making money from the very core of human need such as water supply, raw food supply, energy supply, health services, security. These are the people who control politicians and democratic institutions by infiltrating them with lobby groups, pressure groups and through the election process.

    1. Paps

      What can a private company do with out PPS numbers? the numbers need to be run through the DSP before any useful information is given out.

      1. scottser

        the pps tracking system here is supplied by infosys, it’s pretty certain that this multi-national has your details although they would never admit it.

    1. Anne

      She must have changed her mind, upon reflection etc etc.

      Some good points made by her. It would be a step in the right direction to enshrine it in the constitution that it can’t ever be privatised, but regardless, prices won’t be enshrined and people just cannot afford it.

      Regardless of the spin on clarification, the lack of information on pricing etc., it seems to me people are out protesting because they can’t afford this tax.

      1. Barry the Hatchet

        I think it’s pretty reasonable to expect our legislators to reflect upon legislation BEFORE they vote it onto the Statute Book, rather than after the fact, no?

  5. Louis Lefronde

    An argument I have been making for some time, about water being the most valuable commodity of the 21st Century and that privatisation is a strategy which the World Bank are pursuing across the globe.

    Now I’m no Socialist, and will not lend support to their idiocy about all privatisation which of course is about protecting the cushioned members of the public service unions, however for strategic reasons and national interest, our water supply needs to be protected. If the constitution is the way to do this, than so be it.

    A constitutional guarantee and nothing less.

  6. Drogg

    Its embarrassing watching all these people trying to save their political careers by jumping ship and going against the grain.

        1. ABM's Bloodied Underwear


          I’m not really a pedant, just need to comment in order to follow the thread.

  7. bisted

    …she’s no Plato…she has flogged the half-dozen rhetorical tropes she has mastered to death at this stage. Go ask Senator Norris for a few more….he’s well up on the Ancient Greeks.

  8. martco

    yeah nice speech….but unfortunately I’m not buying it
    the problem has existed now for some time, why she orating only now?
    maybe I’m just too cynical but FG are burning alive so the spin cycle will be cranking up to 1200rpm won’t it?

    1. Original Cynic

      Wonder if we’ll ever find out how much taxpayers money has been spent on spin/PR in favour of privitisation since first march on 10th October never mind before that date?

  9. Clampers Outside!

    Here, sure didn’t we give all our info to an arm of the NSA when the govt gave the census contract to deh yanks… sure what’s an aul pps number when t’other’s already out there :)

    No, that’s not really how I feel about it. Just thought I’d mention tho… like

  10. Maeve

    Nice speech – shame she voted in favour of the bill and she’s a Fine Gáil appointee so it’s all just spin; full marks for rhetoric though. She’s earning her ??? how much are you paid to be a Senate appointee?

  11. PSC

    Nailed it!

    Look to the examples – this is not being done by accident, there is a plan. Monetize public assets for sale – all the privateers to own natural resources. A recipe for control, a recipe for disaster.

    I’ll pay for the upkeep of MY water service, owned in perpetuity for Irish people. But I want to be part of what the plan is about. Infrastructure costs money – but why do we start by creating an ineffective civil service like entity like Irish Water – where people were hired to save their jobs, not because they are the best in the business at water management? The country is not vast and we have a healthy supply of water from the sky – we don’t need a top heavy org – we need a smart and nimble org.

    Water is the new oil – let’s not make the mistakes we made there
    We wondered what would wake the sleeping giant up and we are there.

    HOWEVER – we need to move forward carefully from here.

    • I believe ALL the political parties we have are relics of the early 20th century. That is a LONG TIME AGO.
    • We need a new set of parties who understand what they stand for, not existing on myth and legend that was never true in the first place.
    • I see the populist approach taken by Sinn Fein, but I know the underlining reality there – it’s not pretty and I don’t want to be governed by it. The answer is not to swing completely the other way, it is to do a root cause analysis and fix the underlining problem.
    • I want to be run by professionals – people who not only care, but are trained to do the job well. How can you be a publican today and a Minister tomorrow?
    • What is the definition of madness – doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result – I give you – Irish politics!

    And do we need politicians at all – is it obsolete?
    Is it really delivering the democracy it is supposed to be?

    This can be a bloodless revolution if we all wake up one morning and decide to send the current parties to the scrap heap and give them 6 months to create new “entities” which represent the people we are today. Or alternatively – a new model.

    What are we today:

    • People who live in the 21st century – for better for worse
    • People with hearts
    • People who feel powerless to influence their own future
    • People who care for the environment
    • People who want to live in a society not an economy
    • People who can be pro-business and pro-community at the same time
    • People who are not driven by religious or indoctrination or at least learnt to truly respect the right of others to have a different viewpoint
    • People who are confident in their own ability – not looking to Brussels, London or Washington for the answers!
    • People who are willing to pay taxes – but only with full transparency

    Ireland is a small country, made even smaller by the technologies we possess today. To run a country 200 miles by 200 miles you would not start from where we are today – but if you had a clean slate, let’s think about how you would be it correctly and then slowly morph to that reality.

  12. Marie

    Great speech, even in light of the fact she voted for IW.
    Few points:
    1. Our taxes already pay for water supply – they don’t, at least mine don’t, we’re on a private scheme in my area and have been for years. I wouldn’t like to think my taxes are paying for other peoples water when I’m already paying a bill for it.
    2. Don’t privatise water – unfortunately already done in some areas
    3. Enshrine in constitution that water can’t be sold outside of Ireland – YES do it, do it now
    4. Continue with Irish Water – really don’t know, bonus scheme/high salaries make them sound like a crowd of crooks

  13. Jake W

    Came across this in The Journal a while back, which was removed almost immediately. Found it again:

    “So, lets see – Irish Water: a synopsis so far.
    Ireland goes bankrupt and the Troika calls for more taxes.
    Water meters are decided upon and a plan to build Irish Water are hatched.
    Siemens, a company with massive resources and know-how in this area – and also with a massive installed base in the UK – offer to install the meters for free.
    Phil Hogan declines Siemens’ offer – no answer as to why he decided this was ever forthcoming – “just, no – we have an Irish solution to this”
    Both Siemens and industry analysts are baffled as to why a state would go for a far more expensive solution.
    Denis O’Brien, the man accused by a High Court Judge to have “beyond all doubt” bribed a FG government to gain control of a a state asset (Esat)- and to have subsequently made hundreds of millions by selling same – “purchases” a company called Siteserv which specialises in the installation of water meters.
    This is about a year before the water meter tender.
    Now, numerous European companies also wanted to buy Siteserv and offered way more money for the company (which then owed €100 million to Anglo Irish Bank and was completely insolvent).
    The Irish Government (weirdly again FG) – (or actually you, Mr(s). Irish Taxpayer) gave the company to Denis O Brien with the €100 million owed to Anglo (now state owned – i.e. by you) written off. It’s not written off for you, the taxpayer – you still pay it – it’s just that Denis doesn’t, got it?
    Some gamble for Denis to buy a company with €100 million written off and with no guarantee of a lucrative water meter contract.
    A business in an area where he has no previous experience or competence.
    Siteserv subsequently bids in the EU tendering process and, lo and behold, wins. The contract is for hundreds of millions of Euros.
    Now, enter Irish Water.
    The CEO of which used to be the financial officer of an organisation which spent €100 million of Irish taxpayer’s money on the, according to the EU, illegal process to build an incinerator in Dublin.
    No incinerator was ever built or will ever be built but €100 million, again of your money, is gone – and John is now the CEO of Irish Water.
    No minutes of meetings – which spent €100 million of your money were ever recorded – the money is just gone.
    John then installs his homeboys and homegirls from the Poolbeg project to Irish Water – citing the abysmal salaries at Irish Water as the reason why nobody else would apply for these jobs.
    People who were direct beneficiaries of the illegal Poolbegl scam are now newly fledged semi-state employees.
    Paid for by you, the taxpayer – again.
    The biggest langer in this solar system is the Irish taxpayer.
    This is just the latest episode of the calamity that is Ireland Inc.
    We haven’t a fcuking chance – no matter who we vote for.
    But, we’re great craic.
    Heh heh heh”

    ~Shane Florish

  14. jaybeah

    Too late mary, u had the chance when the bill was before ye in the seanad, you failed the people who kept your job safe, reform the seanad , NAY, ABOLISH next time around

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