“This minister doesn’t appear to accept any responsibility for anything”

A BBC report includes this pertinent comment from UUP MLA Fred Cobain, chairman of the NI Assembly’s Regional Development Committee, on the NI water crisis.

Ulster Unionist Fred Cobain is chair of the Regional Development Committee, which is to meet on Thursday to discuss the crisis.

He said “the issue rests with the minister and not Mr MacKenzie”.

“At the end of the day in all of these issues the individual who leads the department is responsible and I have to say if this was any other part of the UK, or any other part of these islands, the minister would have been away weeks ago.

“This minister doesn’t appear to accept any responsibility for anything.

He added: “It beggars belief I have to say, but it doesn’t surprise me with this Executive, because nobody seems to take responsibility for anything.” [added emphasis]

And Sinn Féin’s favourite firefighter is back in action…

Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd defended his colleague.

He said NI Water had a contingency plan in place over the cold weather spell but had not implemented it properly.

“In fact they (their operational procedures) weren’t brought into the book until Martin McGuinness and Conor Murphy made themselves present at a board meeting on boxing day,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“They told NI Water directly that they were not operating the system properly, they were letting people down and they had to up their game.”

Where any of Minister Murphy’s appointees present?  In what capacity was Martin McGuinness present?  Other than undermining his party colleague, the minister responsible for NI Water…

And if that occured on Boxing Day, why was Minister Murphy publicly defending NI Water until the OFMDFM intervention on the 29th?  Or was that another failure to communicate?

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  • Rory Carr

    Unionist condemns Republican shock!

    Whatever next?

  • The likes of Cobain would be more convincing if he had been anyway visible over the past few weeks while the ‘crisis’ was taking place. The only politician apart from the SF triumvirate of McGuinness, Murphy & O’Dowd who seemed to be in action over Christmas was McDevitt. Presumably the rest took the cue from Robbo and headed off to sunnier climes.

  • I think the Minister can sleep easy if Fred ‘We’re waiting for the Minister’ Cobain is on his case; Fred has been waiting for two years now on that other case.

  • Ulick, many MLAs, MPs and Councillors have been out in their wellies at all hours helping their constituents during the Emergency.

  • Neil

    The UUP and SDLP are pretty much outside the tent pissing in. In much the same way as in the old days Trimble was in charge and the DUP were outside hectoring at him for his Lundyism in sitting down with the shinners.

    They’re all the same, but we can’t expect anything other than attacks from the UUP and SDLP on the lack of progress, for they have nothing else to do. They’re clearly not going to win popularity again by doing nothing and have too little power to make a difference off their own bat, so what does that leave? Attack, attack, attack. Fair play to them, but nothing if not expected.

  • andnowwhat

    I was talking to a man and a woman last night (lord above, that sounds like the start of one of David Cameron’s little stories) and they both had leak stories.

    The woman’s son’s school was flooded when they opened and the man’s workplace (a factory) was also flooded.

    Now, NI Water had asked key holders tocheck their properties and in these 2 cases this advice was ignored.

    I am no defender of Mc Kenzie, Murphy et al but I do not think enough blame (there seems to be a hunger for that word these days) has been put people and companies who chose to ignore the advice and keep stuffing themselves with mince pies and Baileys.

  • Ulick………Not true, Naomi Long surpassed herself with all the work she put in during the water shortage with constant updates as to when and where water would be turned off.
    The only “rep” (and i use that term in the loosest possible terms ) i saw whilst queueing for 2 hours for water at Avoniel was Dr Kyle formerly of the PUP.
    Niall ODonnaghaile at least told people where they could get water East, North and West of the city whilst Conall McDevitt only told his constituents where they could get water in the South of the city.

  • HeinzGuderian

    If *Scotch** Connor* was forced to resign…………..would his friends start a bombing campaign to have him reinstated ?? Just a thought…………..:P

  • joeCanuck


    That is a crass comment. I’m not a follower of SF but they appear to be now wedded totally to democracy.