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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Irish Water
John Tierney took the media (and a minister) on a bizarre tour around a water treatment plant today
The Irish Water charm offensive began in Ringsend this afternoon.

Kelly Tierney Hugh O'Connell John Tierney and Alan Kelly at the Ringsend waste water treatment plant today Hugh O'Connell

LAST MONTH, THE government decided that Irish Water hadn’t done a good enough job communicating the great work it’s being carrying out across the country.

So today we had what is likely to be the first of a series of media opportunities to visit Irish Water facilities until we’re bored into submission and forced to admit the new semi-state isn’t all bad.

Journalists, photographers and cameraman were taken around the Ringsend waste water treatment plant in Dublin this afternoon with Environment Minister Alan Kelly and Irish Water boss John Tierney our illustrious tour guides.

After donning hard hats, luminous jackets and protective glasses, we ascended dozens of precarious steps up to the top of the sewage treatment plant.

Once we reached the summit we had a lovely view of the city’s skyline, the Poolbeg chimneys…  and waste water being treated.

Luckily you can’t smell the awfulness that we had to experience:

Kelly and Tierney posed for photos with the Irish Water boss no doubt informing the minister of all the great work going on down in Ringsend.

Kelly looked impressed although noted the media presence might lead to a multitude of water and sewage related puns, but as someone on Twitter later remarked ‘water waste’ of our time that would be.

Then Kelly and Tierney, who’d been out before the media yesterday meaning they’re practically inseparable right now, were then happy to take questions on the cramped platform beside the treatment area.

Kelly claimed that “new technologies procured by Irish Water” had resulted in it reducing by €170 million the cost of upgrading the facility – the country’s largest sewage works – and he was at pains to point out all the good work that the man beside him was doing.

“We need to deal with the fact there’s raw sewage running into the Avoca River down in Arklow,” Kelly said.

But cold and windswept journalists just wanted to know about how much families will have to pay.

Alas the minister was giving nothing away: ”All issues in relation to Irish Water charges and every other item will be dealt with next week.

“I will not be speculating on anything in relation to charges at all.”

Of course his party leader had other ideas.

After a few more questions, we headed back down the steps and Kelly thanked us all for coming out, ending the brief, cold, and smelly charm offensive.

Opinion: Is it too late to fix Irish Water?

Read: Gerry Adams now says he WON’T pay water charges on his Donegal holiday home

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