Speaking on behalf of his colleagues on the special Oireachtas Committee on the future funding of water services, Deputy Barry Cowen TD commented, “The behaviour and commentary of Fine Gael representatives on the committee over the course of the last 24 hours has been deeply frustrating and disappointing.

“After months of hard work by representatives of all political backgrounds, a fair deal on the funding of water and the treatment of those who abuse the water resource was agreed last week by the committee. That agreement has now been abandoned by Fine Gael representatives without any credible explanation.

“Attempts to claim that there was no deal are undermined by the fact that the Fine Gael Minister responsible for water rushed to claim credit for its negotiation last Thursday on social media when he congratulated the Fine Gael negotiating team and described it as ‘an outcome we can stand over and support’. These dishonest claims of no deal are also undermined by the fact that the details of the deal were widely leaked to the media and no one from Fine Gael expressed an objection.

“I am happy that the Fianna Fáil team has behaved with honour and honesty throughout the process and have stuck to all the agreements we have made. It is for others, and in particular the Fine Gael party to explain why it has walked away from a deal it was championing and taking credit for as recently as last Thursday.”