Angry scenes in Dáil over decision to declare dozens of motions on water out of order

TDs have been debating the Water Services Amendment Bill, which provides for a nine-month suspension of water charges

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Seán O'Fearghaíl. Image:

Opposition TDs have demanded an explanation as to why dozens of motions on Irish Water have been ruled out of order.

There were angry scenes this evening as TDs debated the Water Services Amendment Bill, which allows water charges to be suspended for nine months.

However, a series of opposition amendments - dealing with the terms of reference for the expert group on water - were struck out.

Some TDs were angry that Ceann Comhairle Seán O'Fearghaíl would not explain why the amendments weren't allowed to go forward.

"No Ceann Comhairle that I know of in the past has had to come in here and explain why he or she made a particular ruling," he argued.

Ruth Coppinger of the Anti-Austerity Alliance was among those criticising the decision to rule the amendments invalid:

Yesterday it was revealed that almost half of people stopped paying their water charges during the last billing cycle.

Irish Water confirmed they received €18.3m from bills sent out in April and May - down from €33.4m in the previous round, a 45% reduction.