Fórsa's conference to discuss future of Irish Water

Fórsa's conference to discuss future of Irish Water

The country's largest public sector union says a referendum is urgently needed to ensure Irish Water stays in State ownership.

Fórsa says it is deeply concerned that over 3,000 local authority staff could be transferred to a single utility company and wants politicians to commit to a national vote.

The majority of motions at Fórsa's conference in Kilkenny today deal with the future of Irish Water.

They want a referendum to make sure it stays in State ownership, and they want guarantees that the government won't move some 3,000 council staff over to the single utility company.

Peter Nolan, Head of the local government division with Fórsa, says his members are worried about what has happened in other European countries:

"The drive for the referendum is to avoid the experiences we've seen in Greece with private ownership and we've seen across the water in England what happens when you put water into private control," he said.

The call for water services to be protected in the constitution dominates the majority of motions at today's programme of events at the Forsa conference.

Delegates, who represent over 30,000 civil servants and council staff, will also discuss reforming local authorities, as they claim Ireland is the Cinderella of local government across Europe.

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