Irish Water appoints new chief amid return of row over domestic bills

Irish Water has appointed its head of asset management, Jerry Grant, as managing director following the departure in April of his predecessor John Tierney. Meanwhile the Irish Republic’s two main political parties – Fianna Fail and Fine Gael – are once again at loggerheads over the future of domestic water charges.

Irish Water's parent company Ervia Group has appointed Grant (pictured) on a two-year contract. He has held his held his earlier role with the water firm since 2013 when the company was created with Tierney as its first chief.

Grant presided over the appraisal of the water company's network and directed a €3 bn investment programme. Prior to joining Irish Water Grant was managing director of consultant engineer, RPS, in Ireland.

Ervia has also appointed former head of group treasury and investor relations at energy firm ESB, Cathal Marley, as group finance director.

Grant takes his post as the Taoiseach insisted that people will have to pay for water in the future or the country would face hefty fines from Brussels. The decision followed a period of claims and counter claims over interpretations of EU laws on water.

The controversy has sparked anger in Fianna Fail which pointed out that the party only agreed to facilitate a Fine Gael minority government on a “clear understanding” that water charges could be abolished if it was recommended by an Oireachtas committee and voted on by the Dail.