Referendum is the most ‘straightforward’ way to keep Irish Water in public ownership

A briefing paper from the Department of Housing outlines four wording options for water referendum to help protect jobs of 3,000 workers

A briefing paper prepared by the Department of Housing for public sector unions has outlined four wording options for a water referendum. These include guaranteeing that all water resources remain in public ownership, or that all public water infrastructure remains in public ownership.

A government briefing paper has suggested that holding a referendum to keep Irish Water in public ownership may be “more straightforward” than other options.

Since Irish Water was set up in 2013 there have been demands for a referendum to guarantee that the state’s water service can never be privitisated.

It has been a red-line issue for the 3,000 water service workers still based in councils, who want a referendum held before they transfer over ...