Senator Mark Daly: I welcome the United States ambassador to the House for his first visit but, hopefully, not his last. It is a long overdue visit. We will obviously be liaising with him in regard to the issue of the 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the United States. It is good to have a great friend of Ireland in Dublin, as well as having him with us in the Seanad today.
I too would like to support Senator Power’s motion, which is part of a proud tradition and follows in the footsteps of Frank Aiken and Brian Lenihan. Ireland understands the situation out there better than others, having put soldiers on the ground in Lebanon in trying to ensure peace in the Middle East. Peace comes dropping slow, however, and in some cases it is not coming at all. Ireland has been an honest broker in that regard and is willing to assist in any way possible to ensure peace in the Holy Land.
I join with my colleagues in calling for a debate on Irish Water. It is a fiasco from start to finish. What we were told does not appear to be the truth. The Government said it was not aware of bonuses yet it is clear it was aware of a bonus culture. The Government told us it did not believe it would cost as much as it did yet the former Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government had memos clearly outlining that it would cost millions and billions of euro to put it in place.
What we do not have from Irish Water is a plan. There is no plan to produce clean water in every house in Kerry – none. There is a plan to give bonuses to the people who work in Irish Water, not to the people who provide the water but to those who are managing or mismanaging Irish Water. I would like to see the Minister come to the House to clearly outline the plan to put clean drinking water into every house in Ireland. All we have is a plan to tax every house in Ireland but we need a plan to give people clean water.