Fianna Fail will support calls for referendum on water ownership

Ireland is heading for a water referendum...

Fianna Fail will support calls for referendum on water ownership

Brian Lawless / PA

Fianna Fáil is to support a referendum guaranteeing public ownership of the water network.

It means the referendum bill may be passed when it comes before the Dáil tomorrow.

The bill would introduce provisions to block the future privatisation of Ireland's water network.

It is already supported by 39 TDs, including some Independent Alliance ministers who sponsored it before joining the government. Sinn Fein, The Green Party and Right2Water are all backing the bill.

The Government is expected to try and oppose proposal when it goes to a vote in the Dáil on Thursday lunchtime.

Yesterday, Joan Collins TD has launched a bill, calling for a referendum to put the public ownership of water into the Irish Constitution.

The 35th Amendment to the Constitution (Water in Public Ownership Bill 2016) reads: "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."

Speaking about the bill, Dublin South-Central Deputy Collins said: "There has been deep concern about the prospect of water privatisation in Ireland in recent years.

"I believe it is time to give the people of this country a guarantee that their water and its management will remain in public hands."


Additional reporting by Jack Quann