Bruton says Irish Water will pass Eurostat test
Taoiseach says Government made mistakes

The test is whether or not there is a stream of income in excess of 50 per cent of the total funding which comes from funding other than the Government, ‘she said. “The Government’s subvention, in terms of Irish Water, is 44 percent, so we more than this to comfortably pass the test.”

Ms Burton was replying in the Dáil today to Fianna Fáil spokesman on the environment Barry Cowen who said there was concern about the ability of Irish Water to borrow off the balance sheet to the extent that the Government wants.

Mr Cowen asked what reassurance she had received from Eurostat that the revised Irish Water model would pass the test. He asked what “plan B” would be if the company failed to do so.Ms Burton said Eurostat was like the Central Statistics Office in Ireland in that it was “augustly independent”, adding that it would make its own decision.

She said she was being asked to predict the outcome of the test by an independent body. “We anticipate they will carry out that test and examination some time next April,” she added. The Tánaiste told Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald she should make a complaint to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) if she felt gardaí had acted inappropriately at a protest against water charges in west Tallaght last Saturday.

Ms McDonald said that while she dissociated herself from the behaviour seen in Tallaght, she equally dissociated herself from the behaviour of a very small number of gardaí who had been “extremely heavy-handed and extremely rough” with protesters.

“Protesters have a perfect right to be treated lawfully, respectfully and not to be flung against a bollard.”

Ms McDonald

Ms Burton said a small minority of people from different groups were involved, adding that the virulence of the language directed towards gardaí and others was extraordinary.“These are fellow Irish citizens and the Garda Síochána is tasked with guarding everybody in this State and they do a very good job under difficult circumstances as they did in Tallaght on Saturday,” she said.

She criticised the “provocative nature of the language, the sexed-up nature of the language, the imagery in the language relating to women” used by some protesters. Male gardaí, she said, had been subjected to “homophobic and bullying language”. She said she did not know what was on those people’s minds.

Mr Cowen said he wanted to add his voice to those of others who had condemned what had happened to the Tánaiste in Tallaght. “Despite our differences in this chamber, every deputy, of all parties and none, should be signing from the same hymn sheet in condemning what occurred.” The Dáil last night approved the package of measures, announced by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly on Wednesday, by 78 votes to 52.
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