Sinn Féin calls for resignation of Minister over Irish Water

Sinn Féin has called on minister Hogan to resign over his handling of Irish Water.

Party leader Gerry Adams says it's not acceptable for a minister to admit he hasn't been watching where public money is spent.

“By failing to answer repeated questions, from Sinn Féin TDs and others, on the cost associated with establishing Irish Water, Minister Hogan and his department have shown contempt for the Dáil, its members and the citizens they represent," Adams said today.

“He is incompetent. He has been involved in too many debacles. Minister Hogan should resign immediately and the government should abandon its regressive policy on water provision.”

The Public account Committee will question Irish Water again today following yesterday's revelations that its set-up costs are expected to be €180m, including €85m in consultancy fees.

Meanwhile Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has refused to say whether the €86m in consultancy fees at Irish Water is money well spent, describing it as a matter for the regulator.

"So rather than me, as a member of Government making that decision - and I always keep a very close eye on it - this is a commercial semi-state that must have some commercial independence," he said.

The Environment Minister has defended his Department's role in spending at Irish Water.

Phil Hogan says he did not know the exact breakdown of external spending at the new agency - saying it is not his business to micromanage semi-state companies.

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