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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

'Did it come from the taxpayer?': PAC chief slams Hogan's officials over Irish Water funding

A suggestion that the exchequer is not funding Irish Water drew criticism from the Public Accounts Committee chairman John McGuinness last night.

RIGHT AT THE end of the Public Accounts Committee’s nearly four hour grilling of officials over the Irish Water consultancy spend, there was a rather heated exchange between Phil Hogan’s officials and the committee chair John McGuinness.

The Department of Environment’s Geraldine Tallant and Maria Graham faced questions over just how Irish Water is funded as McGuinness expressed a wish for Irish Water to be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG).

Tallant argued that from a “C&AG perspective there is no exchequer funding in Irish Water” to the disbelief of McGuinness who said: “How can you say there is no exchequer money in it?”

There followed lengthy soliloquy from McGuinness who noted: “If these figures did not come in some way from the taxpayer you’ve wasted four hours today and you’ve wasted another four hours yesterday.”

The exchange is worth a watch in the video above. (Apologies for the video and sound being out of sync, this is beyond our control).

Read: Water charges will be announced ‘in or around August’

Read: “This government is shrouding itself in secrecy,” – Fianna Fáil hit out at Irish Water controversy

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Hugh O'Connell

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