Getting into deep water

Phil Hogan's approach to introducing water charges has been attacked from all sides, but it was an inevitable step for which the government will have to take a hit, writes John Burke.

28th April, 2012
Getting into deep water
Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, and Fergus O'Dowd, Minister of State for the New Era Project, on their way to a press briefing earlier this month about the establishment of Irish Water. Photo: Photocall Ireland

One of Ireland's leading water engineering experts, Kevin Murray, held up a photo of an ancient aqueduct at a conference last month and explained to engineers how the Romans paid for their water depending on the size of the nozzle which transported it into their home.

His point was clear: whether it be now or more than 2,000 years ago, water infrastructure "has to be paid for".

Since the late 1990s, all aspects of Irish water...

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