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Public Water Forum - The Members

Who are the members of the forum?

Tom Collins

Chair

The issue of water has emerged as a highly contested one in Ireland in recent years. There is a high level of agreement that a lot need to be put right with regard to drinking water and waste water treatment. What we seem to be unable to agree on is how to do it, and particularly, how we will pay for it.

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The Forum made up of a Chair and 32 members, 12 represent organisations from a specific sector of interest and 20 members are domestic water consumers. Each of the members brings a wealth of skills and experience from many walks of life.

Meet The Members

Andrea Ahern

Leinster

I joined the Forum as I believe that water is a vital resource which should not be wasted. I believe that water should be metered to help identify leaks and excessive use. The water system is in dire need of being upgraded and, as a member of the Forum, I will try to ensure that this upgrade is carried out as efficiently as possible.

Eoghan Brophy

Leinster

Citizen subvention of water is an unjust and unnecessary burden to a country with a growing economy like our own. If large multinationals want to do business here, they must be made to understand their responsibilities to our nation. We give them low corporate tax for a reason. Their euro isn’t worth much to them in the same way my euro is worth quite a bit to me. One day’s worth of their profits would fix years of under investment in the system. Quid pro quo.

Michael Brophy

Leinster

Karen Carney

Connaught/Ulster

I joined this Public Water Forum as I believe treated water must be paid for but at a reasonable cost to consumers.  What I would hope for is that Irish Water would be run efficiently and that the charges we pay would not escalate over the years and that we would get good value for money for a quality product that is safe and that meets the requirements of legislation.

Vincent Holmes

Connaught/Ulster

It was Vincent’s interest in rainwater harvesting that first attracted him to the Public Water Forum. “The abundance of rain, the quality of the rainwater particularly on the West coast is something into which we can potentially tap (oops!)” “Bhíodh traidisiúin láidir ann maidir le bailiú uisce báistí in Iarthair na hÉireann, go háirithe ar na h-oileáin amach ón gcósta, agus sílim gur chóir athbheochan agus measúnú an athuair  a dhéanamh ar sin anois go bhfuil modhanna scagadóireachta nua ann agus cúnamh ón earnáil digiteach.”

James Grimes

Leinster

The availability, accessibility and affordability of water will be a major consumer rights issue for the next few decades. As citizens and as consumers of water we have a right and an obligation to participate in and shape policy relating to how we use and maintain this natural resource. I’m delighted to be able to contribute to this through the Public water Forum.The availability, accessibility and affordability of water will be a major consumer rights issue for the next few decades. As citizens and as consumers of water we have a right and an obligation to participate in and shape policy relating to how we use and maintain this natural resource. I’m delighted to be able to contribute to this through the Public water Forum.

Keith Hyland

Leinster

Laurie Kearon

Leinster

I am a full time working mother of five and grandmother of one. I believe that water is a basic human right and the citizens of Ireland have already paid for water within their taxes. I joined the Public Water Forum to represent the citizens who share my view. My hope is that the Forum will lead to a change in the way that the public water sector is managed.

Patrick McGuinness

Leinster

I consider Irish Water was set up in an arrogant manner without Public Consultation or Education. Allowances are inadequate and litre cost too high. No account was taken of vulnerable people or a person’s ability to pay. Water is an asset of the State and should be managed for the citizens and charges should only apply for excessive or unfair use.

Paul McMenamin

Connaught/Ulster

I joined the Public Water Forum because I believe that water is such an important resource which should be looked after correctly. Being part of the Forum gives me as a domestic consumer the opportunity to be part of the debate and discussion on how we as a country can best do this.

Dympna Morrow

Leinster

Since the “bank guarantee” of 2008, further approbation of Irish resources has seemed inevitable. At the Public Water Forum, I hope to contribute to the process by which the citizens of Ireland are placed fairly at the center of the decisions  which will impact our  water security. With an unprecedented rate of climate change, the careful stewardship of water is required to best protect this invaluable commodity for the use of the Irish public.

Orla O'Donovan

Munster

For me, water which literally constitutes our bodies as it constantly flows within and through us, is a commons. Inspired by the international commons movement, I joined the forum to explore with others the implications of thinking of water as a commons (as opposed to a commodity or a resource) and what water commoning and water democracy in Ireland might entail. I am one of the “domestics” on the forum opposed to Irish Water and the introduction of water charges.

Rena O'Herlihy

Connaught/Ulster

I joined the Public Water Forum as it presented an opportunity to make a contribution to the evolving story of Irish Water for the benefit of our citizens

Susan O'Keeffe

Leinster

William O'Neill

Leinster

Berenice Phelan

Munster

I joined the Public Water Forum because, as a citizen, I felt strongly that there was insufficient engagement or communication with the citizens of Ireland before introducing water charges. This communication was important so that citizens could understand the many issues, complexities, technologies, and costs, involved in bringing the best possible drinking water to their taps. By representing other citizens I want to see this lack of engagement with the public change.

Connie Rochford

Leinster

I am interested in being better informed about the water issues that, as a Nation, we must confront for the future of our children. I want to get a fuller understanding of why we are paying for water and what precisely we are going to end up with in terms of the utility itself. I am particularly concerned that we do not have a privatized water utility.

Philip Treacy

Munster

Joe Tuohy

Munster

Ireland needs a much better public understanding of the key water/waste issues and priorities. From an engineering/project management background, I have been bemused by the intense public and political focus on the water supply side when the waste treatment side is arguably– from public health and environmental standpoints – even more urgent and problematic. I am particularly interested in the organisational capability of such a newly-established entity as Irish Water to (a) deal with the engineering and project management challenges facing it and (b) at the same time become progressively ‘leaner and meaner’ in both manpower and costs.

ORGANISATIONAL MEMBERS

As well as domestic members, the Forum contains 12 members from specific sectors. These were recruited at the same time as the domestic members and there is one organisational member from each of the following sectors:

  1. The interests of the consumer

  2. The interests of those persons providing or occupying social housing

  3. The interests of those persons owning or occupying private rented housing

  4. The interests of the member organisations of the Community and Voluntary Pillar

  5. Those with a disability

  6. The interests of the environment

  7. The interests of industry

  8. The interests of agriculture and rural affairs

  9. The interests of tourism and recreation

  10. The interests of the education sector

  11. The interests of the group water sector

  12. The interests of the trade union movement

Liam Berney

Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Trade Union)

Colm Brady

National Federation of Group Water Schemes Society Limited (Group Water Sector)

In my role as the National Co-ordinator of the NFGWS I look forward to working with my forum colleagues for the good of our water services and water resources. The NFGWS represents the rural Group Water Scheme (GWS) sector on the forum. Many GWSs get their water supply direct from Irish Water for onward distribution to their own members. The NFGWS has a wealth of experience in water services and can both contribute to and learn from the PWF.

Tim Fenn

Irish Hotels Federation (Tourism and Recreation)

I represent the Tourism and Recreational Sectors on the Forum. Maintaining a clean and secure water supply along with a safe wastewater system in a cost effective manner is vital to the future of our country.  I volunteered to join the Forum to help promote fairness and efficiency in the future development and funding of Irish Water.

Thomas Horan

Irish Property Owner's Association (Persons owning or occupying private rented housing)

Dr. Suzanne Linnane

Institutes of Technology Ireland - IOTI (The education sector)

As a freshwater biologist and educator, I am aware that integrated management of Ireland’s water resources is required to deliver improvements in environmental status, water quality, water management and distribution of safe water supplies into the future. I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this debate through membership of this forum.

Mindy O'Brien

Sustainable Water Network (The Environment)

My priority is to ensure a holistic approach in water governance. We must protect the quality and quantity of Irish waters as well as ensuring affordable, high-quality drinking water.  Particularly this must be done through the protection of source water and full compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment and Water Framework Directives.

Kevin Ryan

Irish Council for Social Housing (Persons providing or occupying social housing)

I am nominated to the forum to represent providers of social housing  through my role in the Irish Council for Social Housing. Our membership consists of several diverse groups of housing providers, many of whom provide housing for vulnerable groups with special water needs including the elderly, those with disabilities, formerly homeless persons and low income families. Many of these groups have specific concerns relating to water, including the level of any charges and the need for a fair and equitable charging structure should they be in place, and I will endeavour to highlight these points and others to the forum.

John Shine

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (Consumers)

Michael Spellman

Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (Agriculture and rural affairs)

Liam Tobin

National Federation of Voluntary Bodies Providing Services to People with Intellectual Disability (Those with a disability)

Neil Walker

Ibec (Industry)

I head up Ibec’s Infrastructure Policy Unit. Ibec is the largest business representative organisation in Ireland with thousands of member companies from a wide range of industry sectors. Our members view water and wastewater services as vital to the economy.

David Wright

Community and Voluntary Pillar

I have a working knowledge of public utilities and I am an enthusiastic Representative of the Community & Voluntary Pillar. The Pillar consists of seventeen not-for-profit organisations dedicated to protecting and advancing the needs of the most vulnerable in Irish Society, including the working poor. The Pillar sees access to quality water as a basic right for all.