Today With Sean O Rourke Monday 27 January 2014
It’s still only January and if this month is anything to go by the establishment of Irish Water is going to be one of the big political stories of 2014. Already we’ve heard of the controversies over the rushed signing of the legislation to set it up in the first place, then there was the cost of consultancy fees, employee bonuses and more recently the issues over the transfer of staff from local authorities. Today the issue of over staffing is making the headlines with suggestions that the company’s 2,000 extra staff could cost householders up to €2 billion.
Joining Sean was Fianna Fail’s environment spokesman Barry Cowen and Edgar Morgenroth of the ESRI who, along with professor John Fitzgerald, co -authored the submission on Irish water to the Department of the Environment back in 2012.
Of all the speakers who addressed the thousand-strong crowd at the Reform Alliance meeting on Saturday, James Sheehan was the first to draw a standing ovation. He is the co-founder of the Blackrock Clinic. In 2005, his offer of a site on the M50 for the new children’s hospital was refused by the government of the day.
Almost a decade on, he has a new proposal on where to locate the vital hospital but his expert opinion has so far not been heeded by government or by Minister James Reilly.
He spoke to Sean this morning.