herald

Thursday 24 August 2017

Kelly 'not worried' by lack of minutes from meetings

Environment Minister Alan Kelly said today that he was "not worried" that a series of meetings held by his predecessor Phil Hogan on Irish Water did not have minutes recorded.

There were no minutes from a series of high-level Irish Water meetings held in 2012, including some attended by Mr Hogan.

Mr Hogan met with Bord Gais chairperson Rose Hynes in October and November that year but no notes were kept of their discussions.

There are no minutes from more than half of all meetings between the Department of the Environment and Bord Gais in the six months after they set up Irish Water.

Minister Kelly told RTE's Morning Ireland today that all critical decisions were made at Cabinet level.

"All decisions from a fiscal or spending point of view were overseen by the Commission for Energy Regulation," he said.

"There were also corporate governance procedures for Bord Gais Eireann that had to be adhered to.

"I believe everything in relation to decision-making by this Government about Irish Water was done in the manner in which it should have been done."

Enforcement

He said he respected that there are people who have "issues" with Irish Water, but he was bringing in laws to ensure people paid their water bills.

The minister said "legislation and regulations will be brought in to make sure that everyone will be treated the same".

"There will be enforcement whereby anyone who refuses to pay, that there will be legislation there to deal with that," he said.

He said he will be bringing the legislation to Cabinet "in the very near future".

There will be distinction made between those who cannot pay, or find it difficult to pay, and those who just refuse to pay, he added.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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