Ministerial Responsibility? It depends on who the Minister is

On Twitter this morning, John O’Dowd made the reasonable point that many of the calls for the Minister to resign are attempts to score political points. The proof is that few who are currently calling for the resignation seem able to say why. If you go to the Sinn Fein website you’ll see they’re scaling up the ‘this is political’ charge with a decidedly ungenerous swipe at Conall McDevitt.

But if you dig a little deeper and go back to the summer of 2007, you’ll see the party take a very different view with *Dick Roche (Correction: it wasn’t Roche who was in office then) over the Galway water crisis. Bare in mind that the Dublin Minister had an even more arms length relationship with the Galway Water system than Mr Murphy, who as a single shareholder has used his draconian powers to intervene in the running of NI Water.

Here’s what Martin Ferris said at the time:

“The blame for the water crisis in Galway should not lie solely at the door of Galway City Council but also at Government Buildings in Dublin. Consistent under funding of local authorities and of critical infrastructure such as water treatment plants is directly responsible for the crisis that happened in Galway and is likely to lead to further water crises throughout the State.” Emphasis added.

Hmmm… So who funds Northern Ireland Water Martin?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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