Even though the position of the water charges debacle at the very apex of public administration and political failure seemed unassailable, it may yet have to cede that dubious distinction to the national children’s hospital.
Despite that, it is necessary to return to the issue of water charges, if we are to secure long-term, reliable services.
Pretending otherwise is the kind of dangerous delusion that animates much of the Brexit debate.
That Comptroller and Auditor General, Seamus McCarthy, has held talks with Government about extending his remit to include Irish Water seems a practical, welcome step in that direction.
Though the anti-water charges campaign was about many things, one of the reasons it prevailed was a lack of transparency around proposals, costs, and Enda Kenny’s refusal to secure the utility in public ownership via a referendum.
The involvement of the C&AG is a good opening step, but it would be unwise to reopen the issue without a vote on the important and unavoidable issue of public ownership.