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Homelessness: Motion [Private Members] (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Over several previous contributions on homelessness in our Republic, I have pleaded with this Fine Gael Government to declare homelessness to be a national emergency and I have asked that it do this now. Our homelessness national emergency needs a whole-of-Government response, with monthly targets and delivery reports. We must declare today that the common good of the people dictates that...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Most of my questions are for Irish Water. I thank our guests for their submissions. I wish to refer to a few points that were not touched upon, some of which are outside the delegates' control. I will start off with the commercial harmonisation of rates. The CRU has still not published the information, which is disappointing. Irish Water has now been established for six years and we...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: We will start with Mr. Gallen.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: We could not facilitate Ms Walsh because of the restrictions of the seats.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: There are only eight seats at the table.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Does Irish Water care to swap one of its speakers?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Does anyone else wish to comment?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: I have a few follow-up questions, most specifically for the Department. What significant issues remain outstanding before any Council text is agreed? Can the Department inform the committee as to the position of other member states on this proposal and is there a divergence of views among the other states?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Yes, I have a few more questions so I will put them first. Have the EU institutions modified their proposals based on the subsidiary concerns raised in the national assembly? What is the new anticipated timeline for the progression of a dossier and is there any indication of an implementation date? Is it likely that this proposal will still have a substantial impact on Ireland?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Does the EPA have any statistics on the extent of unsustainable drinking water and contamination and illness caused by that?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: My next questions are for both Irish Water and the Department. I understand that for public group water schemes there are a few connections that take the water from a public source and distribute it through a network of piping. Where does responsibility lie in that scenario?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: To follow up on the point made by Senator Conway about rural towns and villages, the only source of funding for them is the local infrastructure housing activation fund, LIHAF, or the town and village renewal scheme. There is no policy in Irish Water such that it will start investing directly in the smaller towns and villages.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Many rural communities are in trouble. The population is leaving them and the schools are beginning to suffer a fall in numbers. Many of them are on mains water and sewerage but the capacity is gone and there is no new development in these villages. I would be interested to know about the draft policy because a village is unlikely to secure funding under the LIHAF because that fund is...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: Is the guidance on how small villages qualify driven by the local authority?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: The local authority will identify where it believes the investment should be made.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Developments in the Water Sector: Discussion (14 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: I come from the village of Roundwood. It sits on the Vartry reservoir, which I look at every day. It does not have any water, so giving water to Dublin every day of the week when people cannot seem to get a pipe from the reservoir back to Roundwood is difficult for the community to take. That is just another example. If there are no further questions, I thank the witnesses for attending...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: An Bord Pleanála: Discussion (6 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: I wish to take my opportunity to wish Mr. Walsh well in his new role and to Mr. Cussen in his role as a planning regulator. Two significant people have been lost to the Department and there is a huge hole to fill within the Department.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: An Bord Pleanála: Discussion (6 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: I will try and focus on the processes as opposed to anything else and perhaps makes some comments on other issues. I believe that the 18 week period is unacceptable in today's environment. I fail to see why it cannot be put into statute that a decision has to be made in 18 weeks one way or another. We brought a similar measure in the local authorities many years ago whereby the authorities...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: An Bord Pleanála: Discussion (6 Feb 2019)

Pat Casey: We will come back to that point again. I would be interested in that also.

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