Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the decision of Irish Water to lay off up to 1500 staff over the next six years as clear confirmation of the bloated and excessive expenses needlessly accrued by the controversial quango. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Ervia chief executive Michael McNicholas confirmed the staff reduction plan as part of a its 2021 business plan:
“One of the most sustained criticisms of Irish Water since its inception has been the claim that it has needlessly and ruthlessly seconded almost 4000 County Council staff from the across the Country into its operation.
This has created serious deficits of experience and frontline skill to those Councils.
We now know following this morning’s announcement, that despite the nearly eight million paid in consultancy fees, none of these obvious concerns around bloated staffing levels were taken on board.
As I understand it there were even legal agreements put in place in 2014 between Irish Water and Trade Unions banning redundancies from occurring; this has effectively meant that even if massive over-staffing was identified and accepted, there would be no mechanism to immediately downsize the company.
It now has to be accepted that Irish Water has become a national embarrassment and a blight on the otherwise serious work that must be undertaken to address the problems associated with our water infrastructure,” concluded Deputy McGrath.