All posts by Orla

About Orla

Irish - feminist - poet - activist - writes stories about witches

Suspect Arrested in Chapel Hill Shooting

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19 were shot in what is being described as an “execution style attack” in a suburb of Chapel Hill at 5pm on Tuesday.

The police have now charged a local man Craig Hicks 46 with first degree murder.

His face reveals strong atheist, anti-theist views and photographs of his gun.

US media has been accused of ignoring the shooting. At time of writing Fox news had mentioned the attack once on their twitter and CNN had yet to report on it.

The Construction of News and the Framing of Dissent

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The common perception of news production is that news reports events as or after they happen; a newsworthy event takes place and teams of journalists go out and report the case. This is of course true in some cases such as accidents and other unexpected events. However if a news team had to simply ‘wait’ for news to happen they might find that reality may not fit deadlines in a neat manner. Rather the reality is that news is often as not constructed by the news production team and then published or broadcast. A common version of this can be heard every morning on ‘Morning Ireland’ and most other radio stations. Minister X is interviewed at 8.45 on issue Y and the Nine O’Clock news follows with ‘Mister X stated Y’, this will then be followed up throughout the day with reactions to what Minister X said by opposition politician…

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Ragbags and Reactionaries: A comparative analysis of the treatment of the ULA and Reform Alliance in five newspapers

critical media review

On the second of January  Lucinda Creighton held a press conference to announce that she would launch a political party in two months, as of the launch the party had neither name nor policies but rather a hashtag  #rebootireland – which quickly and predictably backfired as the hashtag was mercilessly trolled. Nonetheless the mainstream media  jumped all over the announcement, some critically, and the story  has topped the news agenda for the last two days. It does have to be acknowledged that it is a slow news week which  is probably no accident considering the timing of Creighton’s ‘monster rally’ last year. Nonetheless if we compare this to the coverage on Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy’s recent call for a new  political alliance there was nothing like the wall to wall coverage.  Although there is some speculation on the possibility of a left slate in 2016 on social media, mostly uninformed it should be said…

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Ireland and CIA Torture

Since 2002 there has been concern over Ireland’s neutrality. US military aircraft have been using Shannon airport in the west of Ireland en route to conflict situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2002 over 2.25 million armed US troops have gone through Shannon Airport.

Many people were shocked by the realities of CIA torture revealed in a recently publicised report but for many other it was simply an official confirmation of what they have known was going on in secret CIA holding facilities and the infamous Guantanamo Bay. There is little the international community to stop the biggest military power from breaking international law, except condemn it.

What Irish people can and should be doing now is question the Irish state’s involvement in these “extraordinary rendition operations”. The Open Society Foundation produced a report called ‘Globalizing Torture’ in 2013 which dealt with many of the same practices confirmed in the “Torture Report” currently being circulated.

In particular this report highlights the complicity and facilitation of CIA torture by other states. Ireland is among these countries. Ireland permitted the use of its airspace and airports for flights associated with CIA extraordinary rendition operations.

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The number of countries complicit is frighteningly high (as you can see in the graphic above) abut it is often ignored that the international community does not only allow the USA’s frequently illegal actions but actively enables it.

“In December 2005, amid concerns that extraordinary rendition flights were landing in Ireland, the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) recommended to the Irish government that it seek agreement from U.S. authorities to inspect suspect aircraft. The Irish government responded that inspections were not necessary because it had received assurances from the United States that detainees had not been and would not be transported illegally through Irish territory. In 2007, the IHRC conducted a substantive review of the matter and concluded that “the Irish State is not complying with its human rights obligations to prevent torture or inhuman or degrading treatment [and that its] reliance on the assurances of the US Government is not enough.” […]In June 2011, the U.N. Committee against Torture stated that it was “concerned at the various reports of [Ireland’s] alleged cooperation in a rendition programme, where rendition flights use the State party’s airports and airspace,” and that it was “also concerned at the inadequate response by the State party with regard to investigating these allegations.” – ‘Globalizing Torture’ page 85

It is simply not good enough that other countries shake our heads and tut at “the American war on terror” but do little to nothing to curb our own involvement.

Ireland is a neutral country, we do not engage in military alliances and we did not join NATO. But to facilitate CIA torture is to have the blood of America’s wars on our hands as well.

There is No Post-Racial America

If there is one thing that events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri should make clear it is that there is no-racial America and there never was.

Conservatives and Liberals alike are guilty of assuming that because everyone is allowed on the same bus now that racism no longer exists, much like those who believe that gender-based discrimination ended when women gained suffrage.

Every 28 hours an African-American is killed by a police officer or vigilante.

A short documentary style video on the New York Times shows the fear and frustration of the people of Ferguson contrasted with the militarisation of its police force.

Mike Brown was 18, he was unarmed and he was shot six times by a police officer. Those are the facts. Regardless of whether he had weed in his system or was an excellent student or both, none of that is relevant to the fact that unarmed African-American people are seen as justifiable targets for police and vigilante violence.

Stand your ground legislation has shown over-whelming bias towards white men, leaving African-Americans, particularly women prosecuted for defending themselves. Florida woman, Merissa Alexander fired a warning shot into the ceiling above her violently abusive husband and was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison for assault. That case is still ongoing with a retrial planned for December.

The statistics on SYG shootings speak for themselves. White defendants are preferred over black victims in staggering percentages.

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This is compounded by a media that seeks to villainise black victims further. The Huffington Post ran a story called “When the Media Treats White Suspects Better Than Black Victims” highlighting the headlines that demonstrate this bias most clearly.

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The Economist ran an article discussing the frankly shocking numbers of civilians killed in the USA and the lack of transparency or accountability shown by law enforcement.

“In 2012, according to data compiled by the FBI, 410 Americans were “justifiably” killed by police—409 with guns. That figure may well be an underestimate. Not only is it limited to the number of people who were shot while committing a crime, but also, amazingly, reporting the data is voluntary.”

They compare this with the relatively low levels of deaths by police officers in England.

But the problem with this article, and dozens like it that were published, is that they attempt to diminish the racial element to these deaths.

“The shooting of Mark Duggan, a known gangster, which in 2011 started riots across London, led to a fiercely debated inquest. Last month, a police officer was charged with murder over a shooting in 2005. The reputation of the Metropolitan Police’s armed officers is still barely recovering from the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian, in the wake of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London.”

Firstly to describe Mark Duggan as a “known gangster” is problematic and shows a disconnect from the youth culture of black youth in London who feel massively disenfranchised by British society. This atmosphere in Tottenham in North London that the police target young black men regardless of their criminality was a huge factor in those riots. They also ignore the fact that the “innocent Brazilian” Jean Charles de Menezes was shot for looking too brown in an area where the police were profile Muslims.

In the case of Mark Duggan we see the most parallels with the American media’s standard response. The Daily Mail called Duggan a “thug” who “lived by the gun”.

The image most commonly associated with Duggan in the media was one of him staring stony eyed at the camera.

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What most did not realise is that this photograph was cropped to hide the fact that Duggan was standing distraught at the grave of his daughter.

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This is exactly the kind of biased reporting the inspired the “IfTheyGunnedMeDown” hashtag on social media in the wake of Brown’s death. Young African-Americans showed two different sides of themselves to highlight the kind of editorializing that goes on behind the reporting of African-American deaths.

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Race relations are bad in the US but it would be remiss of me to pretend that they are magically worse than the rest of the world. However America is so socially divided, heavily armed and filled with a culture of militarisation that the racism in its institutions are far more lethal than in other developed countries.

There are similarities between these cases and their media portrayal, one glaring difference remains. Duggan’s case, despite the fact that he was most likely involved in crime, sparked massive controversy and attention. It stands out as an example of attitudes that are problematic in British policing.

But it is not the norm.

The same cannot be said for Ferguson, where the difficultly for journalists to do their jobs has received more attention than the physical violence against unarmed civilians.

Changed Irish Political Landscape Elections 2014

While the weekend saw one of the slowest counts most pundits had ever seen, the delay gave three days for the results to sink in. Some journalists are calling this polling day Sinndependence Day, after the enormous success of Sinn Féin and independent candidates.

Certainly Sinn Féin have nearly tripled its seats in the local councils and gained 3 MEPs compared with none from the last European elections in 2009. At the same time Labour’s vote has collapsed and Fianna Fáil, the party held responsible for the economic crisis, has proved more resilient than expected and held their local support. RTE online provides detailed electoral breakdown. 

But the rise in support for Sinn Féin is only one symptom of a wider change in the Irish political landscape. What’s more significant is how the tradition political cleavages are breaking down. Those observing the transfers (Ireland uses a PR electoral system) shows that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have transferred to each other in this election in numbers not seen before.

For those less familiar with Irish political divisions, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael represent the parties formed from two opposing sides of the Irish Civil War in 1922/1923. The two parties, historically centre-right (FG) and centre with centre-left sympathies (FF) have never been in coalition. Their voters and the candidates often inherit the position.

Labour goes into coalition with FG on occasion then suffers afterwards for it in the polls. But Labour was distinctly the third party, one of a number opposition parties.

Sinn Féin’s support stayed under 8% in most elections and there was huge stigmas attached to membership because of the Northern Ireland conflict. Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act in Ireland forbidden the broadcasting of the voice of any Sinn Féin member. They could not take part in public debate. This only ended in the early 1990s so for them to be a significant player in the this election is remarkable.

One way this changing political landscape tripped Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, up was the category of ‘others’. ‘Others’ is made up of all independent/non-party candidates and smaller parties, Socialists, People Before Profit, and the Green Party, among others.

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But in this election ‘others’ was one of the largest groups and so displaying results in this way is not very informative.

The rise of the left was one of the most talked about outcomes of these elections. Despite making foolish decision such as the Socialist Party running its candidates as the AAA (Anti-Austerity Alliance) which no one had heard of or changing the name of the party in the European election to Stop the Water Tax – The Socialist Party, they won 12 seats on county and city councils. People Before Profit, primary a working group of the Socialist Workers Party, also took 12 seats.

Political discussion and analysis by many journalists failed to catch up with the new realities. Talking about the four historic parties and “the rest” no longer adds to the conversation.

Other changes can be seen in the issues that effect voters. Jobs, tax and healthcare will be central to most elections and the rise of real left parties has forced discussion on economic alternatives into the mainstream but new issues are also coming into play. Social equality, gender, sexuality and race, are becoming increasingly significant.

Darren Scully, who was mayor of Naas at the time, claimed that he did not represent the African community in his constituency. He resigned as Mayor and was expelled from Fine Gael. In this election, not only was he allowed to return to Fine Gael but he was re-elected to the council in Naas.

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At the same time Sinn Féin ran Edmond Lukusa, Chairperson of the Congolese Consortium of Ireland and he was elected to the Fingal council.

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Ireland’s growing immigrant communities are still not only underrepresented in Irish politics but social disconnected from it as well. The parties that connect with this demographic before the next general election will hold  a significant advantage over the parties who do not.

A gender quota of 30% is expected to be in place by the next general election and so many analysts are already pointing at parties that will struggle to comply with that, such as Fianna Fáil. Marriage equality activists are expecting marriage reform in this next two years and increased rights for GSRM couples and families will have to be in the manifestos of many parties.

The next general election will be one that defines Irish politics for the decade to come.

Who Speaks For Ireland? Media and Representation

Do you feel as though mainstream Irish media represents you and the issues that matter to you well? If not, then you are not alone.

 

There is a well-documented disconnect between many Irish young people and their government. A study in 2007 had Ireland’s young voting turn-out at the lowest in Europe. But what is less well-documented is the disconnect between much of Ireland’s youth and its media. I would argue that the political apathy is in part a knock on effect of a media that does little to prioritise issues that affect younger demographics but it is a problem in its own right as well.

 

This was well demonstrated in the ‘Pantigate’ incident that has been unfolding since January which brought many issues of homophobia and censorship to the forefront of debate. But it has also shown that the priorities and loyalties of the Irish media do not align with much of the population. The details of debates on homophobia, the Iona Institute and other parties involved have been and will be discussed elsewhere but what is more significant to me are actions of RTE in its role as broadcaster during the scandal.

 

There was a lack of transparency from the beginning which made many people uneasy. When the final figure of the settlement of €85,000 was revealed many people were outraged. RTE has received over 850 official complaints regarding this pay-out for a comment which received zero audience complaints on the night.

 

The general frustration and outrage was expressed on social media platforms and described on RTE a week later as “Twitter lynch mobs”. It was probably more akin to an unfiltered Letters to the Editor page. One upload of the section of interview edited out of RTE’s digital archive has been viewed on Daily Motion 27,360 times at time of writing. This is higher than the average rating of 18 of RTE’s 20 most watched programmes.This is maybe not that surprising given, according the Irish Digital Consumer Report in 2013, 53% of Irish people aged 16-25 and 43% of Irish people aged 26-34, now consume the majority of their TV content online.

 

I spoke to the chair of Ireland’s top journalism degree, Dr Jane Suiter who has written for a number of publications such as the Financial Times, to get her perspective on how Ireland’s traditional media have struggled to entice young audiences. “Yes I think traditional media are struggling with how to win audiences among young people. The Irish Times for example has hired a few younger writers who attempt to engage with issues relevant to younger readers but the success is patchy.”

 

However Dr. Suiter felt that journalism has had to become partially about entertainment rather than purely information. “Journalists are increasingly utilising social media as a source and reference for news and current affairs; this allows more direct access for all citizens as the shift in news production becomes more bottom up. Younger people are more likely to be engaged in social media and this is thus a source of influence.”

 

So young people looking to get involved in debates and commentary on current affairs now need no more qualification than an internet connection. Social media, particularly Twitter, is the primary news outlet for many young people all over the world including Ireland. Ireland has 600,000 daily Twitter users, making us the 10th highest country in the world for Twitter users per capita. This is a fact that journalists and broadcasters alike have been struggling with for a number of years. While this presents its own set of quality-control challenges, is an open more inclusive discussion not generally preferable?

 

The guests and debates on RTE only continued to highlight this disconnect in the weeks that followed ‘Pantigate’. Pussy Riot and Hollaback are two groups that have big youth followings but their treatment on RTE has cringe-worthy at best.  Brendan O’Conner’s interview of Pussy Riot in February was widely considered embarrassment as he failed to discuss their activism or feminist actions or their experiences of prison but rather made inappropriate jokes and asked questions about Madonna. Last year Ryan Tubridy interviewed the head of Irish Hollaback Aimee Doyle and suggested that she should find street harassment complimentary.

 

When asked Hollaback stated: “It was quite clear that Ryan didn’t take us seriously and was determined to present us as a group concerned only with “wolf-whistles” rather than a group concerned with street harassment and its place within rape culture. It was a frustrating experience, as we felt that there was a deliberate attempt to twist our words and redefine our experiences.  It seemed that our attempts to challenge the status quo were unwelcome to Ryan, who of course benefits from that status quo.”

 

Just this month RTE came out with a new TV show ‘The Centre’ that focuses on a working class community centre trying to “grab grants” by ticking “diversity boxes”. I watched the first 10 minutes of the pilot and that was all it took for the show to be massively classist and transphobic, not to mention anti-traveller and dismissive of Muslim women. Rather than spreading the things that would offend people out RTE decided to put all the things you might hate about them in one convenient place.

 

In February UCC held a Journalism Conference where the issues surrounding sexism in Irish media were addressed, like the fact that 98% of opinion columns in the Irish Times are written by men. Audrey Ellard Walsh, a Cork journalist covering the event, referred to traditional news outlets and “legacy media” which is an interesting term. Legacy is what traditional medias have to offer. Reputation, authority and trust are vital for any news outlet and it is the advantage that they still have over blog and purely online based publications. However what online journalism has to offer is an accessibility and diversity of voices that is seriously lacking in much of Ireland’s “legacy media”.

 

But Dr Suiter believes that “online journalism” as distinct from journalism as a whole is an increasingly outdated concept. “In many ways almost all journalism is now online to a greater or lesser extent. The questions are from where does it emanate? The traditional news organisations tend to have greater resources, more trained and experienced journalists and thus have a higher level of credibility with the public. The challenge for them and indeed for democracy is to ensure that these advantages are leveraged, ensuring high quality, questioning, well researched journalism that engages with the audience.”

 

The BBC could be seen in some ways to reflect this. It is one of the most highly visited online sources of news, on its own site and across various social media platforms, but also maintains its tradition television and radio mediums. It combines new techniques with a reputation that is trusted. But more importantly it provides context for its breaking news, something which can be lacking in Twitter headlines.

 

At the end of our interview, Dr Suiter expressed optimism for Irish media in the future, that it would figure out how to adapt and change. This week The Irish Times saw changes as John Waters left their employment and the website hosted a respectful and engaged article at the Lady & Trans Fest at Seomra Spraoi.

 

I am not suggesting that this disconnect is a new problem but rather that the internet is providing a new solution. Now the voices of the disenfranchised have a more easily accessible means of being heard. Underground zines that the world can read.

 

Does this mean we about to see a seismic shift in Irish media? Will ‘legacy’ outlets catch up with the needs and priorities of a very different country? I am not sure honestly. Most of the time in Ireland, to poorly paraphrase Yeats, change comes dripping slow. I do think that local, home-grown media still has value in an increasingly globalised word. So if Ireland’s media does change, hopefully it will be for the better.

 

First published in Trinity News.

The Weekend that Called Ireland’s LGBT Community to Arms

It has been a fraught start to 2014 for journalists, activists and GRSM people all over Ireland, but particular in its capital. Following the controversy of censoring Rory O’Neill’s interview on the Saturday Night Show.

Saturday night gave Panti an opportunity to respond to the RTE and to those who had accused her of “hate speech”. Following the Saturday showing of ‘The Risen People’ in the Abbey Theatre Panti took the stage to make the case for calling out homophobia when it is seen.

The next day the advocacy group LGBT NOISE held a protest in the city centre to condemn the censorship of the interview and the huge pay-out of €85,000 of state money to avoid a legal disagreement with any of those mention (and two who were not directly mentioned).

The crowd of over 2,000, was very diverse in terms of ages and backgrounds.

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Senator David Norris spoke with his usual passion. He certainly pulled no punches in questioning the victim position often adopted by opponents of Same Sex Marriage.

The theme that carried through the weekend was a call to arms, a cry that now was not a time for bar-stool activism but to take action.

The Case for GSRM over LGBT

Gender, Sexual and Romantic Minorities (GSRM) is a broader, more encompassing term that is replacing LGBT in many circumstances. The Global Echo will now be adopting the term and this is our justification why.

Okay so most people are familiar with the initialism LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) for discussing rights and cultural issues.

But people outside of the queer community are less likely to be aware of conflicts within the community about that very initialism. Many intersex, asexual, gender-queer and pansexual people claim that the title is exclusionary. This has led to multiple other variants, LGBTI, LGBTIA, LGBTQA, and in one case LGBTQIAAP which I think we can all agree is simply unfeasible.

Also the second A is for allies and I have to say if someone is only an ally to the queer community if they get to feel like people are paying attention to them they are not really allies.

But even with just a single A the initialism is still unworkable, it’s hard to say, it’s hard to spell and frankly no media outlet will be interested in using it so it does not really further the visibility of these minority groups.

Now I’m not going to add to the bashing of the infamous ‘LGBT Soup’ article. Frankly it got enough attention at the time. It raised the same point as us that LGBTQIAAP was unusable but it’s conclusion was that people should just get over not being included. That’s obviously easier for some to say than others.

Of course QUILTBAG (Queer intersex lesbian trans bi ace gay) was floated by some as a more memorable acronym it, again, is one unlikely to be picked up by wider society because, frankly, it sounds a bit silly.

This is fundamentally our case for Gender, Sexual and Romantic Minorities. It’s broad, inclusive and non-specific. If new identities and terms arise it doesn’t matter, they are inherently included.

For this reason GSRM will now be used on the Global Echo in the place of LGBT with a link referring to this explanatory article.

Thank you for reading and engaging with this debate.

Irish Water’s Leaking Investments

(First published in Trinity New 22/1/2014)

A lot has been written about Irish Water in the last few weeks, especially after the media learned that €50 million had been spent by the semi-state on consultants alone. This would be bad enough if it was done by a state body that was not already submerged in questionable wisdom.

 

For those of you just joining this story; Uisce Eireann/Irish Water is semi-state subsidiary of an Bord Gáis, answering to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It was created by the Water Services Bill in early 2013 and then further defined two months ago in the second Water Services bill. It will take at least five years to fully set up and is already budgeted to cost the state €180 million, assuming it stays within budget. One of the reasons Board Gais won the tender to set up Irish Water was that they claimed to have a national customer billing network, which could be extended to cover water bills, but in their first year they decided they needed to spend millions of euros hiring consultants, partly to advise them on a billing system.

 

Not only is the project expensive but the Government has been consistently inconsistent in their statements regarding Irish Water. Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan is at the centre of controversy because in November of 2012 he told an Oireachtas committee that Irish Water’s set up costs would be €10 million. The apparent surprise of political leaders about the spending of €50 million on consultants was hardly reassuring. That figure is expected to reach €85 million in the next few months. Hogan claimed that the consulting contracts given out by Irish Water were “not my business”, though as he is the Minister for the Environment, it is unclear whose business Hogan believes this to be.

 

Also not reassuring was the apparent disagreement between Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Irish Water chief John Tierney over whether or not water service could be disconnected for those who do not pay the charges. John Tierney told Newstalk that people who did not pay their water bills would suffer disruption to the service but Gilmore claimed he “didn’t see how that could be the case” which is hardly a strong denial. Gilmore went on to say “In any event, the question of what regime will be in place is not yet determined and it’s too early to be speculating.” But some might hope the Tánaiste was sufficiently informed that there would be no need for speculation. Especially as there appears to be provisions in in the Water Services (No. 2) Bill, which was signed into law only months ago, clearly prohibiting the cutting off water services to homes.  It has been suggested that Irish Water believes they can reduce water pressure to a house to a level where appliances like showers will not work, while remaining technically within the law as the kitchen tap will still work.

 

All that could be written off as just the usually inter-department incompetence that is the hallmark of much of Irish politics but the problems surrounding the formation of Irish Water run deeper.

 

Water conservation is an important issue but there seems to be little to no focus from the government on protecting Irish water from pollution from industrial or chemical leaks or of encouraging the public to invest in water saving message such as grey water systems for toilet cisterns or rainwater collection. If fact, following speculation that water tariffs may need to rise if the public conserves water, questions remain over the effectiveness of this system at all. The money being spent on the installation of meter would have made a very significant long term impact if it had been used on the water system itself.

 

Which implies that the creation of Irish Water has more to do with raising taxes without calling it tax, than it does with the environment.

 

Installing water metres will cost the state half a billion euro, a figure made particularly galling as state investment in water infrastructure has fallen in the last 3 years from €435 million to €286 million according to the Irish Times. In Dublin alone there are 800 km of water main that are over 80 years old.

 

“So far, a total 115km of water main have been rehabilitated in the Greater Dublin region and surrounding counties, with 11 million litres of water per day saved”, said Tom Leahy, as Executive Manager of Dublin City Council in a press release in July 2013. He was announcing a €3.95 million contract to replace a further 20 km of aging water pipe and that work is still on going.

 

If we do a little maths the remaining the 685 km of old pipes not yet replaced could be losing up to 76 million litres of water every day. The fact that in July last year there were water restriction in place due to dry weather in a country that floods once a year would lead many to believe water is simply not being collected and stored adequately.

 

Much of county Roscommon has had a boil-order on their water for over 6 months due to cryptosporidium in the supply. Cryptosporidium was also found in Galway’s water supply in 2007 and again in 2008. Mains water in the Lifford area of Donegal has been periodically undrinkable for a number of years. This is the water that Irish people are expected to pay for?

 

John Tierney claims that his company will save the Irish taxpayer €2 billion by 2021. But this idea of saving the “taxpayer” fails to take into account that ‘savings’ on the state budget are achieved through payment of water bills made by said taxpayers as individual citizens.

 

These are just the flaws of management. The underlying ethics and precedent set by these events are even more concerning. The water tariff is another in a series of blanket taxes that will affect lower income families the most.  For those on low incomes, a water bill will be a much greater proportion of their cost of living than someone on a high income.  Irish Water is also being set up as a profit-making organisation, which is a dubious sentiment to hold around the nation’s water supply.  The manner in which Irish Water has been created, the management ethos displayed by their early decisions on the use of consultants and their aggressive position on reducing people’s access to water who cannot pay is early evidence that this approach to managing water is all about profit and has nothing to do with conserving water or improving services for Irish people.

 

(edit: The cost of water could increase to € 2 billion due to over-staffing. Read More.)