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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

Labour TD calls Gerry Adams 'a sponger' for not paying water charges

And so it rumbles on…

THE CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT of water charges came up in the Dáil again today.

During Leaders’ Questions, Gerry Adams criticised the fact the government is considering deducting unpaid water bills from people’s wages or social welfare payments.

gerrt Gerry Adams

The Sinn Féin leader also said the coalition “wasted €650,000 on a new advertising campaign and gave away €85 million of taxpayers’ money to private consultants, as well as wasting €539 million on water meters”.

eric byrne Photocall Ireland Eric Byrne Photocall Ireland

In the ensuing debate, Labour TD Eric Byrne directed this comment at Adams:

People like the Deputy are on the public record as saying they will not pay, and the Deputy is one of them. He is a sponger.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett then asked Byrne to “please settle down”.

ceann Seán Barrett

The Deputy is back in business now, he has had his holiday. Deputy Adams, please proceed.

Adams initially said he would pay the charge, but later changed his mind – saying he would refuse to do so “as a mark of solidarity” with “hard-pressed citizens”. has contacted Byrne for comment.

Here’s what Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald made of it all:

Speaking today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he is “happy to note that 1.23 million people have signed up with Irish Water”.

enda Enda Kenny

“Some 250,000 are not Irish Water customers, but they will qualify for assistance from the Department of Social Protection.

“This morning I listened to one of the Deputy’s left-wing colleagues talking about paying for this through transaction taxes, corporation taxes and general taxation and his own party has put forward propositions that are wildly off the mark,” Kenny stated.

A Technical Group motion on water charges is being debated in the Dáil tonight.

Read: Plan to deduct water charges from wages is ‘signing a death warrant for Labour’

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

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