Water and the Constitution


Sir, – The Government has apparently agreed to hold up to eight referendums over the next two years, with the exclusion of any referendum on the topic of water infrastructure (“Is there anything to be said for another referendum? Or eight?”, News Analysis, September 27th). Perhaps when there is a referendum to ensure our water infrastructure remains in public ownership, the wording might also make it unconstitutional for a local authority to allow untreated sewage to enter open water. – Yours, etc,


Lucan, Co Dublin.

A chara, – It is deemed that eight referendums, including one on blasphemy, are required over the next two years.

What must be for many citizens a worrying and a stark fact is the glaring omission from this list of a referendum on water ownership.

The Government’s own “Expert Commission” on water, after several months of deliberation and following an in-depth and wide-ranging examination of the issues, concluded that a referendum was required to protect our water resources from being privatised.

This issue is central to the motivation and the energy of tens of thousands of citizens who demonstrated on multiple occasions since 2014 and the many who contacted TDs of all parties on the matter.

By way of contrast there has been little demand for a referendum on “blasphemy” or “directly elected” mayors.

Why the obdurate and largely unanalysed refusal to obtain the view of the Irish people on the ownership of our water resources? – Is mise,



Dublin 6.