Opposition parties back Seanad recall over Irish Water

Independent senator Gerard Craughwell called for recall to debate water controversy

The Opposition parties have backed a campaign by Independent senator Gerard Craughwell to have the Seanad recalled to debate the Irish Water controversy.

At a press conference in Leinster House today in support of his call Mr Craughwell was joined by representatives of Fianna Fail, Sinn Féin and Renua as well as Independent senator, Fidelma Healy Eames.

Mr Craughwell said the decision of Eurostat that Irish Water had to remain on the State's books was a matter of national importance that needed a full public debate.

He said people wanted to hear from Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Seanad was the best forum for that to take place.

He said that he had got the signatures of 24 members of the Seanad for his recall motion and he would be forwarding it later today to the Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke.

Fianna Fáil Seanad leader Dara O'Brien, Sinn Féin's David Cullinane and Paul Bradford of Renua backed the call as did Ms Healy Eamees.

Mr O’Brien said the Seanad had been recalled during the summer recess for the past two years.

Seanad Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke told The Irish Times he had not yet received the request.

Under the Seanad standing orders the House can be recalled if more than 30 members sign a demand in circumstances where it has been adjourned sine die.

However, as the House has been formally adjourned until 2.30 pm on September 23rd the question of a recall is solely a matter for the Cathaoireach.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times