Brendan Ogle, from the Right 2 Water campaign, spoke with John Keogh on Newstalk’s Lunchtime earlier.
He’s calling for a referendum.
From the interview…
Brendan Ogle: “There are two things that are important about any proposed referendum. The first thing that’s important is where the proposed wording would sit in the constitution. Different parts of the constitution are open to different types of interpretation. So we’re proposing a specific article section, Article 28, Section 421, which is the part of the constitution which deals with the functions of government, the functions of the executive and what we’re proposing is a very simply worded referendum which would read as follows:
‘The Government shall be collectively responsible for the protection, management and maintenance of the public water system. The Government shall ensure, in the public interest, that this resource remains in public ownership and management.’
John Keogh: ‘Ok, why is there a need for a referendum when we already have this guarantee enshrined in legislation. Alan Kelly brought legislation before the Dáil only a couple of months back.”
Ogle: “Well, fair question John, but what we need to realise here is that there’s no such thing as a guarantee enshrined in legislation. Legislation, such as the legislation for example, to enact Irish Water itself, is simply legislation, it can be changed in the Dáil and is often changed and I’m sure the Irish Water legislation will be changed. And sometimes the legislation can be changed very, very quickly by the use of whips and guillotines and all sorts of…”
Ogle: “Just to be clear, we don’t want to do anything with Irish Water, except abolish it. We certainly don’t want to put that in the constitution.”
Related: Huge majority support Irish Water referendum, survey shows (Irish Independent, December 16, 2014)