Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen TD has responded to reports that Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s officials have written to Eurostat to complain about the agency’s conclusions on Irish Water, dismissing the Minister’s intervention as bluff and bluster.

Deputy Cowen commented, “As each week passes, the Irish Water fiasco takes a new turn.  This morning, we are subjected to reports that the self styled ‘tough talker’ Alan Kelly is going to give Europe a piece of his mind, taking on Eurostat and pulling apart its analysis of the Irish Water structure.

“All of which would be fine of course, if it wasn’t for the fact that the Eurostat dismissal of the Irish Water business case was based on the Minister’s own CSO figures and was widely predicted by all those who had analysed the figures and recognised the extraordinary mess Kelly and his colleagues have made of the entire Irish Water project.

“The contents of this letter, leaked to media by the Minister’s department, represent little more than self serving spin unlikely to convince anyone, least of all independent analysts at Eurostat.

“Alan Kelly arguing that Irish Water’s operations are not being carried out by local authority workers, or that the €100 inducement payment is really a ‘water conservation’ measure, is an insult to the intelligence of Eurostat officials and the entire Irish public.  Eurostat, like a majority of people in this country, has looked at the facts and made up its mind that this thing is a mess.

“Just this week, Fianna Fáil demonstrated how, based on the current compliance rates and publicly available information on the costs associated with water charges, the net revenue from domestic water charges in 2015 will amount to MINUS €72m.

“This represents an incredible waste of public resources and a complete failure of strategy.  Rather than co-ordinating a rearguard Public Relations campaigns, Alan Kelly would be much better advised to put some effort into understanding how he can stop throwing more good money after bad and put the doomed Irish Water out of its misery.”