Alan Kelly contemplated his navel over the water, Irish Water, in his dirty bath. Thank Jaysus it was only thirty thousand. Thanks the lord. And the Garda tallymen. I fully accept the dirty bath, he practised, ministerially. Errors were made in how it was run at the beginning. But they were not my errors. We will now take clean steps out of the dirty water. We or, should I say, they have not communicated why I am in this dirty bath. Fuck you, Mattie McGrath he murmured, and then forgot he’d said it. A drop of the valuable resource plashed into the foam. But he didn’t cut it off. The water supply will not be reduced or cut off, he mouthed. Did I say timelines yet? Confusion. Other people’s confusion. My hyper-confidence. Fianna Fail in the bath. I have my ear in the bath, listening to the people. The bath will not cost what people think. Better communication. Less confusion. Leader Burton, in the way, those funny ideas about iquity, she said. Equetty. Ek-wetty. It sounded good. That was what he was for. While the timelines may have been dictated by the Troika, we all accept at this stage that they were simply too ambitious. I fully accept this. While I was not a member of cabinet at the time, it is important that as a Government we acknowledge that errors were made – the timelines, the complex nature of the charging structure and poor communications by Irish Water. We must now take steps to address them and we will.The timelines have led to confusion, uncertainty and huge frustration for the public. Again, I fully accept this. As a Government, it is time for us to listen and we are doing that. We are working on a package to bring the necessary certainty and clarity to the charging structure so that the public do face water charges which are modest and affordable. Many people are preparing for bills in the region of €500, €600 or €800. Based on the package we are bringing in, nobody will be paying these levels for their water. Let me repeat that, nobody will be paying these levels for their water services.
I fully acknowledge there have been failures in communication. Irish Water have correctly and appropriately apologised to its customers and elected members for this and are taking steps to remedy it. I apologise myself even though I have nothing to apologise for. Sorry for telling Mattie to fuck off if he’d said it. Sorry. Sorry. Apology. Eqwetty. There is nothing I will not accept, or remember. He couldn’t remember a thing about what was good or bad about water, baths or taxes. It was all about avoiding reaching for the towel. The bath was nice if dirty. Emissions. And getting hotter. Like the country’s climate. He kept telling himself he should care, just short of the point where he actually did. Climate legislation that didn’t have any of the qualities of legislation. He let the hot tap run some more. Some of it splashed over the side down onto his jocks. I am on record as stating that the 2020 targets were unrealistic and unachievable and that did not take into account Ireland’s dependence on agriculture or the fact that we have one of the most climate-friendly agricultural systems in the world. This deal recognises that we have secured recognition across the EU of the importance of a sustainable agriculture as a key consideration in ensuring coherence between the EU’s food security and climate change objectives. I made it clear that Ireland would not be signing up to any future targets that would be unachievable. Ye can’t eat the environment. Couldn’t give a rat’s arse he confided to himself and moved his head forward on its plane, like he used to do before he’d become an important man. He’d the lip under control since he’d become the big fella up in Dublin. Fuck the climate. Doesn’t vote. Beef. Beef, belching Beef forever he couldn’t get enough of it. 500 votes that was worth. And he emitted again. He caught a glimpse of the biggest bullox in the cabinet, through the soup below. And a night out on Macra, Christmas week. Minister for Local Government, he mused. He loved Government. But he if anything preferred Local. Local Funding he thought and fisted one out of the water. €1.1m New Ambulance Base, €350,000 Jimmy Doyle Road, €140,170 Thurles Leisure Centre, €95,000 Thurles Town Council for Pre-Approved schemes, €200 million investment in Limerick Institute of Technology’s Limerick and Tipperary campuses, €71,000 extra for road maintenance & major funding for Thurles bridge rehabilitation, €66,000 MUGA Monakeeba, €50,000 Thurles Walkway, €25,000 Thurles Boxing Club, Substantial funding for the CBS and the Presentation Secondary school and the Thurles international festival of hurling. Huzz-fuckin-Ah. And jobs. I am delighted to announce that a Tipperary company is among the preferred bidders to deliver the Government’s Jobpath programme. FRS Recruitment, who are based in Roscrea form part of the Consortium who have been selected to deliver the Jobpath programme in the Southern half of the country for the Department of Social Protection. 500 employees with their head office expected to be located in North Tipperary. Fuckin A. I haven’t even realised it’s privatisation of essential services. Better Tipp and private than the pale and public, he thought then threw himself back under the water confused. Jayz but amn’t I against privatisation? The bloody referendum.All that thinking they were expecting of him now in the senior hurling. Nobody seemed to care he’d the MPhil from Boston, founding chair Kemmy Branch Labour UCC, former Chair Labour Youth. TD. Minister for the Environment and especially local government. And the other thing. MEP, BA, MPhil, Dip (Leadership) Bost, MBS. Deputy leader Labour Party. And still under thirty. Had anyone so unknown been gifted such a role (the brother, maybe)? Youngest ever Taoiseach he splashed the water which wasn’t really that dirty he thought. Imagine if he’d been in SF how he’d be poised for greaterness without Dame Joan Burton holding him back, reminding him of his Mam. 40 he was, actually. He snarled cos no-one was looking, and gullied one into the broth. Now he was panicked. What do I understand about privatisation? What if I comes out I don’t believe in anything? Water, environment and public services? He didn’t know how to handle the water or the heat, and the amount he’d let in he suddenly copped had left him out of his depth.