‘Yes Folks, The Water Privatisation Quest Continues’



Irish Water Managing Director Jerry Grant (middle) and Brendan Ogle of Right2Water

This afternoon.

Further to restrictions by Irish Water amid claims by managing director Jerry Grant that some householders may be leaving taps running in the cold weather.

The country saw a “spike” of 10%-20% of waterd demand during Storm Emma.

Brendan Ogle writes:

Taps running?


The Irish Water propaganda unit are in full flow again. Never an outfit to waste a good crisis, last week;s freeze has been turned into an opportunity to perpetuate the ‘wasteful consumer’ lies through an all-too willing media.

Yes folks the water privatisation quest continues.

I don’t believe a word of it.

The expert commission on water found zero evidence that the Irish wasted water and did in fact confirm Right2Water’s research that households used significantly less than our U.K. neighbours.

What waste was found was, not surprisingly, related to leaks.

Of course there was more water used last week. A ‘spike’, as they call it. That’s because, hmm let me have a think about this…


More food cooked, kettles boiled, showers run, maybe some ‘waster’ had a bath (hang on for a confession), kids out playing in the snow coming in rotten dirty. It’s not complicated.

Then of course we know the system leaks like a colander anyway, so imagine what the freezing weather has done to the leaks?

And yes, algae has arrived early in the Vartry reservoir [Roundwood, County Wicklow] so that is causing issues too.

There was similar weather across the U.K. last week. Not only did it not lead to interminable news coverage of it but guess what, it’s caused problems with their water system too.

Yet nobody is blaming the citizens over there. No privatisation agenda you see, they already did it. With disastrous results for consumers.

So I’m not buying a word of this nonsense about wasters running taps.

But here’s that confession:

‘Bless me Irish Water for I sinned,
It’s been three months since my last bath
But last Sunday I had one
Because I wanted one
I didn’t even need one
I just wanted one
And I loved it
The Radox smelled lovely
For these and all my baths I am very sorry’

Brendan Ogle is a Right2Water Co-Ordinator, Unite’s Political, Education and Community co-ordinator. and blogs every Thursday here.


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72 thoughts on “‘Yes Folks, The Water Privatisation Quest Continues’

    1. Ina.

      Yeah, goddam Ogle, trying to protect the public against privatisation. He should just grow up and join IBEC.

        1. ReproBertie

          Yeah, who doesn’t look back fondly on the times he sent the train drivers out on strike just to get his name in the papers and mug on the news.

          1. Ina

            God forbid people should strike for better conditions. We should all just obey our IBEC masters. God bless servitude.

          2. Rob_G

            @Ina – he almost single-handedly destroyed Ireland’s rail freight industry – look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me.

          3. Neilo

            @Rob_G: don’t you understand, man? The right of public sector unions and assorted nogoodniks to rawdog the rest of us – the getting up early cadre, if you will – is sacrosanct. Father Brendan knows this to be an immutable truth.

          4. Neilo

            I hold no hate in my heart for people: least of all for Brendan Ogle who is, by all accounts, a very nice fellow.

          5. ReproBertie

            Ordinary trade union activist? Give me a break. The unofficial ILDA strike was not supported by either the NBRU or SIPTU, who Ogle described as an “obstacle”. It wasn’t about better conditions. It was about Ogle. After disrupting the trains for the summer of 2000 he moved from there to do the same when he was in the ESB, earning a mere €80K as union boss representing ESB workers he described as “spoilt”, threatening Ireland with power cuts in the lead up to Christmas.

          6. 3stella

            Very true Bertie, nearly killing off the Irish rail freight industry for a decade, The irony is now the limited freight trains that do run are the most profitable on the system.

    2. dylad.

      The urban-rural divide.

      Taps not running in parts of Dublin today. In my country home I have clear water, gravity-fed from my private mountain lake. After bathing in it , I went out and fupped a deer in top field, hung and skinned it. Venison for a month. The food of kings.

    3. Johnny Keenan

      Anyone who keeps citizens informed on our rights is relevant here.
      Anyone who tries to hide or knock citizens rights is rotide.
      Man whatever department (and I’m thinking Taoiseach) that’s paying you to troll needs to seriously look at how else that department is wasting money.
      You’re not very good at your job.
      When we eventually find out who you are it won’t be a surprise to me.

  1. Rob

    I left a tap running during the snow. Not intentionally mind, I was trying to defrost it and forgot about it until sometime after it defrosted itself.

    While that wasn’t intentional, if I thought I needed to run a tap to avoid burst pipes, I would do that too. I could understand if someone wanted me to pay for that.

    1. filly buster

      Well there’s good news for you, Rob. You spineless, woman’s ‘special place’. You already do pay for water.

  2. Karen Doyle

    Great article and good to see Irish Water being called out on the spin and bull.
    Anything to get their privatisation agenda back on track but unfortunately for them and their cheerleaders nobody is buying it.

    1. david

      They waste water if you do go to work
      Well the emergency committee did sterling work scaring the crap of the nation they certainly looked great on the telly quite corporate but as usual the reality of how incompetent they are are emerging
      But now Leo can start blaming a storm and snowfall that people living in countries that endure something hundreds of times more serious
      Now instead of blaming fianna fail for the crash they can now blame snow and storm Emma for all the ills
      Considering for weeks before they were emphasizing Armageddon and even naming it the beast from the east little advance planning went in
      An utter joke and we will all be paying for this
      Wait till brexit
      For god sake micky martin pull the god dam plug

  3. Cian

    B*ll*x. The majority of personal water used in the country is for toilets and showers.

    People use the toilets (and flush[1]) the same amount regardless if they are in the office or at home – the same amount of water is used.
    Maybe people took longer showers during the snow since they weren’t rushing off to work???
    As for the rest, people drink the (about) same amount of tea and coffee at home or in work – same load on the water system.

    Same goes for washing and eating.

      1. Rob_G

        You’re probably right, but it was hardly industry that caused consumption to spike during Storm Emma when all the businesses were closed.

    1. Barry the Hatchet

      I disagree, Cian. I definitely used far more water at home than I would have in work last week. Did loads of cooking and baking that I wouldn’t have done normally. Had extra laundry to do, due to being out in the snow and getting grubby. Had to give the dog a bath because he had loads of snow stuck to him. And had a couple of extra showers/ baths myself to warm up after being out in the snow.

      I didn’t leave my taps running or do anything stupidly wasteful. But I definitely used many multiples of what I would have in work.

  4. b

    So glad Brendan solved the homeless crises last year that he can get back to his favourite campaign

  5. Gringo

    And remember, folks, we have only had six months of almost constant rain. Dats why theres a water shortage.

    1. Cian

      Yes – our reservoirs are large enough to store six months of constant rain.

      No, wait, they don’t – they are a fixed size, and when they are full you can’t store more of that ‘almost constant rain’.

      1. TheRealJane

        Yes, it’s weird how many people don’t realize that it’s not rainwater that comes in from the ground that it fell on through the tap. It’s water that’s been treated, stored and transported through a network of pipes.

        I mean, you’re all entirely free to leave buckets outside your doors and collect rainwater and dump it in your tank. But don’t drink it, probably.

        1. bob

          Not too sure Irish Water will allow that. The water companies in the US are against rain water harvesting, so I believe this is in the terms of contract.

  6. Joe Small

    Wait! I’m confused about Brendan’s article. So the cops knew that Internal Affairs was setting them up?

  7. b

    I’m going to introduce a wild concept here, so can everyone stick with me for a moment?….

    Maybe there was no blaming of people in the UK running taps because that would be a silly thing to do when they have a meter?

  8. Joe

    Excellent article by Brendan, I expect FG’s Propaganda/Special Communications Unit must have wet themselves and wrote the script for Irish Water to flood the airwaves with!

    Time for Irish water to be scrapped and a referendum held to prevent the privatisation of Irelands water resources!

  9. Dublin Bus Smoker

    They’re going about this the WRONG WAY. Keep the water free and impose a license for having taps. That’s how RTE works.

  10. Tom

    Funny. I’m going to have a lovely bath tonight unlike you smelly perishers because I live in a country with metered water. I love paying for decent services!

  11. GiggidyGoo

    And no such thing as Irish Water crews. Contractors and Councils doing the work. (as it was planned anyway and the inception of DinyWater)
    Time to close it down and hand back to the Councils.

  12. Jesus Wept

    House insurers were advising residents to keep a tap running to avoid any insurance claims due to sub zero temps.

  13. SydneyT

    Did overall water usage go up or just domestic water usage?

    Industry uses a large percentage of water. I don’t think definitive figures exist but Irish water say 40%.
    Much of this would be for industrial uses (According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), industrial water is used for fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product. Water is also used by smelting facilities, petroleum refineries, and industries producing chemical products, food, and paper products.) – ie, not having a cuppa and flushing the loo while at work.

    So if overall water usage increased then Irish water might have a case for highlighting an increase in usage.
    But if they are referring to domestic water usage only then of course it went up for reasons Brendan suggests.

    Important to know the full facts.

    1. Rob_G

      “Water is also used by smelting facilities, petroleum refineries…”

      – yes, I’d say that it was Irelands’s massive steel & oil refining industries that were using all the water :/

  14. Janet, I ate my Avatar

    one ought not to over wash anyway
    upsets the natural balance
    a French doctor told me I washed too much after a shocking one shower a day confession….

          1. Janet, I ate my Avatar

            Ah the who ha if you put a bit of flavour in with your garlic
            or you like your cheese a little ripe

  15. Truth in the News

    The action that needs to be taken is to abolish Irish Water, as they are superfluous as Local
    Authorities did this for years….why establish 2 bodies to do the same job….its easier to sell
    off one state monoply then 30 odd County Councils.
    In half of County Sligo with a population of nearly 20 thousand a public water supply has a boil
    water notice with a month where the supply exiting the resevoir at Lough Talt has been detected
    as having a contamination of cyprospiridium, this situation any any other incident could be
    managed if the folks that run Irish Water had a transportable microfilter unit that could interface
    with outlet pipe in this case 18 inches and 4 inches,…even UV source could be incorporated rather
    strangely this incident has never hit the national headlines…..on wonders why….?:
    If they spent a fraction this instead of water meters and fixed the pipes and the leaks, would
    they have the current debacle….Mr Grant will fill us in where did Madam Arnott go.

  16. some old queen

    We had a big freeze. Water expands when frozen. Pipes burst. Shortages occurred.

    If they had just stated the facts, people would have gone fair enough, we understand. But instead, they tried to blame their customers. What other business would do that?

    This was not the time to be preaching about consumption. Irish Water’s communication team really needs to get its act together.

    1. Cian

      I hear there is a 15-person communication team that may be losing their jobs quite soon. I wonder if they could transfer to IW?

      1. some old queen

        Some probably did leave taps running but there was no advantage in making that point after the event. It was a golden opportunity to pitch for investment by highlighting the fact that the network is old and that if work is not done it will happen again under similar circumstances.

        I personally think Jerry Grant is way more competent than his predecessor but they should stay on message. Avoid customer blame games at all costs because that only opens old wounds. This is what comms people are paid to do ffs.

  17. Sheik Yahbouti

    Ahhhhh, rotide and his her fellows, that’s why I seldom drop in anymore, too disheartening. BTW, no need to tell me nobody cares – I’m aware of that.

    1. Neilo

      I care, Sheikh. A billboard for Alone caught my eye yesterday and I was inspired to reach out to you.

  18. Will Browne

    If you have water, waste as much as of it as you want; Brendan Ogle and Right2Waste give you permission. If you currently don’t have water, do you think Brendan gives a poo? Of course not. He’s laughing at you. All that talk about a right to water was just taking the piss.

Comments are closed.

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