Michael McNicholas, CEO of Ervia, the parent company of Irish Water
This morning Ellen Coyne and Niamh Lyons, in the Irish edition of The Times (not The Irish Times), report:
“Politicians and the media did not do enough to explain to the public the importance of Irish Water, the head of the utility’s parent company has claimed.”
“Michael McNicholas, chief executive of Ervia, attempted to divert responsibility for the various controversies and setbacks involving the utility at the Environment Ireland conference in Croke Park yesterday.”
“Asked what he would have done differently, he suggested there had been a communications failure. “In hindsight, I don’t think there was enough done right across all of Irish society, that includes politics and media, to really set out the facts of the situation,” he said.”
Readers may recall how the Irish Mail on Sunday, on November 23, 2104, reported that Mr McNicholas, the former CEO of NTR, had shares worth €1million in NTR, which made €2million a year from Irish Water contracts.
It also reported that NTR owned 50% of Celtic Anglian Water Ltd (CAW) which had contracts with Irish Water for meter installation and waste water worth €4million a year.
In July 2012 – almost a year before Mr McNicholas was appointed CEO of Bord Gáis, now Ervia – the Sunday Independent reported Mr McNicholas saying: “The metering of Irish water opens up opportunities for Celtic Anglian Water. Celtic Anglian is well-positioned to provide those services.”
In an interview with Cathal MacCoille, on Morning Ireland, on Monday, November 24, 2014, – the day after the Mail story – Mr McNicholas said:
“I spoke with NTR and I said that I no longer can sit on their advisory committee, even though it’s to do with renewable energy and it has no conflict whatsoever with my role in Ervia. I feel that’s no longer appropriate for me to sit on that committee. I do hold shares in NTR and they are restricted but I am divesting of those shares as a restriction is lifted. I am looking to see if I can accelerate the lifting of those restrictions to divest myself of those shares and, just to finish, my final point, any proceeds that come from the sale of those shares, we are, myself and my wife, as we always have intended, are donating the proceeds of those to Focus Ireland which has always been our intention.”
Previously: Murky, Murky, Murky