We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Irish Water

Amid claims of drunkenness, the Seanad has voted to pass the Water Services Bill

Earlier, proceedings were suspended twice in less than an hour – after a row over claims that senators were coming from the Dáil bar to vote on the Bill last week.

Updated at 6.30pm

Video / YouTube

THE CONTENTIOUS WATER Services Bill has been passed by the Seanad this evening, after a vote was called at 6pm.

Members voted by 28 to 25 to back the Bill. There was no change to that result after a walk-through vote.

The Seanad was adjourned shortly before 6.20pm, with the upper chamber not set to sit again until the afternoon of 20 January.

Earlier, the proceedings were suspended twice in less than an hour — after a row over claims that senators were coming from the Dáil bar to vote on the Bill last week.

A 16 hour sitting of the chamber ended at 3am last Saturday.

However, it was in session for barely a minute at midday today when David Norris’s attempts to raise matters on the Order of Business – which is not taking place today – prompted a row and 10-minute suspension.

Then, just before 12.45pm, a row erupted after Labour senator John Whelan claimed some senators were “inebriated by the exuberance of their own verbosity” during the lengthy debate last Friday night.

This prompted Fianna Fáil senator Terry Leyden to insist that “all spokespersons for Fianna Fáil were absolutely 100 per cent sober”.

Then Sinn Féin senator David Cullinane claimed that coalition senators were coming from the Dáil bar to vote, saying: ”There was a lot of senators coming from the Dáil bar into the chamber here late on Thursday night and if they want to have that debate we’ll have that debate with them.”

This prompted much shouting across the chamber and the suspension of the house for 15 minutes.

The passing of the Bill paves the way for the imposition of household charges by Irish Water.

It was announced last month that charges will be capped at €260 annually for a family of two or more adults, going down to €160 with the provision of a conservation payment from the Department of Social Protection.

First posted at 6.35pm. Additional reporting, Daragh Brophy.

Earlier: Senator says no one in Fianna Fáil told him he was expelled

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.