Fianna Fáil has introduced new legislation to bring EirGrid under the powers of the Freedom of Information Act.
Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Seán Fleming has moved the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill in the Dáil this afternoon.
Deputy Fleming commented, “This is about openness and transparency at one of the most important State companies in the country. There is huge concern around EirGrid and its Grid25 plans and what impact major pylons will have on communities. We believe the Freedom of Information law should be extended to bring EirGrid under its remit. Deputies from both Fine Gael and Labour claim to have concerns about EirGrid’s plans and I believe they should support this legislation now.
“The Government had to be dragged into agreeing to have FOI cover its new Super Quango Irish Water. They shouldn’t be as reluctant with EirGrid. This will be good for the public and good for EirGrid.
“I have brought forward this legislation because Minister Howlin refused to accept my amendment to bring EirGrid under Freedom of Information at the Committee Stage of the FOI legislation before Christmas. The Minister had previously rejected Fianna Fáil’s proposal to have Freedom of Information apply to Irish Water. Clearly that was a mistake, the Government was forced into a u-turn, and I hope they will see sense on the EirGrid issue.
“It is only right and appropriate that organisations such as EirGrid and Irish Water are subjected to the transparency and openness that comes with Freedom of Information.”