Water torture for BnM boss D’Arcy
Bord na Móna chief struggling to contain his frustration over delays
Bord na Móna’s chief executive, Gabriel D’Arcy, yesterday struggled to contain his “frustration” over what he perceives as delays by Irish Water in progressing Garryhinch. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Water, water is everywhere in the news, but there’s still ne’er a drop for Dublin.
Bord na Móna’s chief executive, Gabriel D’Arcy (below), yesterday struggled to contain his “frustration” over what he perceives as delays by Irish Water in progressing Garryhinch, an ambitious proposal by the peat company to flood a bog near Portarlington and pipe the water to the capital.
His pique is somewhat understandable.
Water is currently a hot button topic, especially in Dublin, where seasonal shortages abound, and in the west, where quality is often appalling.
Business and consumers both have a major stake in how the whole issue of water management and charges is handled. It emerged over the weekend that Intel wants big businesses to benefit from a water charges cap. Meanwhile, the regulator will this week release its preliminary recommendations on water charges. Dublin is also desperately in need of a new water supply by 2020.
Decisions need to be made now.
Irish Water maintains it was given responsibility for developing a new water plan for the capital only five months ago. Rather mischievously, given D’Arcy’s enunciated concerns, it also stated it is working to “an ambitious timetable”.
BnM’s frustration stems from the fact that it is well over a year since it first proposed to Bord Gáis that the two companies collaborate on Garryhinch. It is certainly a lot more than five months since the gas company became aware of it.
BnM was recommended for sale in the Bord Snip report. It needs a “big idea” to cement its standing in the semi-State community . . . and water is it. It lost out to its State-owned gas sibling in the mandate for the new Irish water utility, with Garryhinch a central plank of its plan.
Keeping the project alive via collaboration with Bord Gáis was the obvious next logical step. But is the gas company prepared to share the glory for solving the capital’s water shortage problem with the State-owned rival it vanquished to win the whole Irish Water gig?
It is difficult not to view the whole affair as just another petty semi-State squabble.