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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# Dáil talk
State of the Nation: Will water bills be delayed?
Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

EACH WEEKDAY MORNING, brings you a comprehensive guide to what’s happening in the political world.

Everyone’s talking about

Irish Water is dominating the headlines again this morning, with fresh speculation that the bills for water charges will be delayed.

Parnell Square Cultural Quarter Launch. P Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland When will John Tierney 'face the public'? (File photo) Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Yesterday the Commission for Energy Regulation told the Oireachtas Enivronment Committee that it was considering whether or not the official date for signing up to Irish Water should be ‘redefined’. This could mean bills will be delayed for up to a month, until the end of January 2015.

This morning The Irish Times has quoted “a senior Coalition source” as saying the Government is considering extending the period for which people will pay a fixed charge rate for their water, to allow for the further installation of metres. Over 1 million metres are expected to be installed by mid-2016.

Speaking on Prime Time last night, Environment Minister Alan Kelly said that Irish Water CEO John Tierney needs to be ‘out facing the public’ and soon. Later this evening, Fianna Fáil’s private members’ motion on Irish Water will be discussed for a second day. It calls for a full review of the much-maligned semi-state body.

Could the issue spell serious trouble for the Coalition?

The agenda…

  • 10am: The Taoiseach will meet with Maíria Cahill to discuss claims she was raped by a senior member of the IRA when she was a teenager.
  • 12pm: Enda Kenny will be in the firing line during Leaders’ Questions.
  • 2pm: NAMA’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Daly and Brendan McDonagh will tell the Public Expenditure Committee about the group’s progress to date.
  • 2pm: The Mixed-Race Irish group will appear before the Justice Committee to seek redress for abuse they claim to have experienced in industrial schools.

What the others are saying…

  • The Irish Times is reporting that the Oireachtas Justice Committee may invite Maíria Cahill, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and other relevant parties to appear before them to investigate how the IRA handled allegations of sex abuse. 
  • The same paper also discusses a biography of WT Cosgrave, which was launched by his son, former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, last night.
  • Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd has called for the nursing home watchdog to be given increased powers in order to avoid another Leas Cross-type scandal, according to the Irish Independent. 

In case you missed it…

  • Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil it was ‘regrettable’ that no TDs others than herself attended the public consultation meeting held before the new Garda reform Bill was drafted.
  • Burying the hatchet? Nessa Childers has said that the legal ‘situation’ between her and Phil Hogan is over.
  • A Labour TD who defied the party whip and refused to vote for the establishment of Irish Water last December will not be sanctioned.

On the Twitter machine…

Following criticism Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway received after saying water “doesn’t just out of the sky”, he spoke to us about how his comments were misinterpreted.

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