28 June 2016
By Tom O’Sullivan
Anti Austerity Alliance TD for Cork North Central Mick Barry this morning slammed his constituency colleague EU Affairs Minister Dara Murphy (another TD in Cork North Central) for his comments that he accepts the EU Commission’s view expressed yesterday that it would be illegal for the Dail to scrap water charges.
Deputy Barry said: “The Irish people elected a Dail in February with a majority of deputies who had given commitments to vote to end the water charges regime for at least five years. It is outrageous that an Irish Government Minister is now agreeing with an unelected bullying EU bureaucrat when he says that it is illegal for the will of the Irish people to be implemented.”
Deputy Barry said that Minister Murphy now finds himself in the uncomfortable position where he is in agreement with the views of unelected EU bureaucratic bullies but in conflict with the views of the majority of his own constituents.
Deputy Barry repeated his call for the abolition of water charges and said that for political reasons it would be extremely difficult for the European Union to take the Irish State to court on this issue in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
He said: “If water charges were abolished in Ireland it would at the very least take the EU several years before it could get the Irish State into court. It is also quite possible that they would have to delay court action even further given the political sensitivities in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. And, by the way, the Irish State would have strong legal arguments if and when any court case would eventually take place.”
Deputy Barry concluded by appealing to the population to hold firm with the mass boycott of water charges: “More than a million households have boycotted the water charges in full or in part. We are winning and the establishment is very much on the back foot. If we stand our ground and refuse to be bullied or divided we will continue to win and will force the abolition of this hated charge.”