Fianna Fáil has welcomed confirmation that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin will bring a motion to the Dáil next week to extend Freedom of Information legislation to Irish Water.

Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming previously tabled amendments to the Freedom of Information legislation at Committee Stage of the legislation before Christmas but it was rejected by Minister Howlin.

Deputy Fleming said: “I welcome the Minister’s u-turn on this.  I am pleased that he has come round to our way of think and that there should be full transparency and openness at Irish Water as a matter of priority.  Given that the Government refused to extend FoI to Irish Water only a matter of weeks ago I think it is clear that this would not have happened if Fianna Fáil had not worked to shine a light on the secrecy under which it was operating.

“In the interests of transparency and openness, as well as being able to access to all material dating back to July 2013 when Irish Water was officially established, we also want access to all information on the ‘pre-establishment costs’ for Irish Water including consultancy fees.

“Confidence in Irish Water can only come about if Minister Phil Hogan and Irish Water management are upfront and accountable.  There needs to be a change in culture here.  As well as FoI, Minister Hogan must answer all parliamentary questions fully about Irish Water in the Dáil.”