top of page
  • by Karma Loveday

Irish Republic referendum on water supply ownership likely next year

A referendum in the Irish republic on keeping public water supply in public ownership is likely to be held in the first half of next year, a minister has revealed.

John Phelan, a junior minister in the department responsible for water policy, told a water sector conference that his superior, minister Eoghan Murphy, was working on the phrasing of the issue to ensure it would have broad, cross-party support.

“He is confident that work on a revised wording can be concluded which would facilitate the holding of a referendum in the first half of 2020, subject to the approval of government and the adoption of the relevant bill by the Oireachtas {parliament], which ultimately determines the holding of a referendum,” insisted Phelan.

This long-awaited and much-anticipated move is not the only politically contentious issue facing the government.

Also, under discussion is the highly-charged matter of the transfer of staff currently employed by local authorities on water issues to the stare-owned company, Irish Water. There is considerable union unease over this which is due to come to a head shortly.

Meanwhile, in a related but separate development, the Budget for 2020, just announced, will allocate nearly €1.2 billion from public funds to Irish Water.

bottom of page