By Anthony Sheridan
Independent TD and super junior Minister Finian McGrath is the first member of the current government to cash in his principles in exchange for political office.
McGrath told Brendan O’Conor that he didn’t pay water charges because he was opposed to them personally and was very annoyed with the incompetence and money wasted in setting up of the organisation.
Brendan O’Connor: So everybody on the panel has paid except you and you’re a member of the Government. What kind of mugs is that supposed to make us. Are you not ashamed of yourself?
Finian McGrath: I have major issues with the way the debate was handled. I’m opposed to water charges personally.
O’Connor: So, what happens if the Commission decides to keep Irish Water and the charges?
McGrath: I will go wth the democratic wishes of Dail Eireann, absolutely, if the Dail votes in a particular way, yes, I’ll respect that mandate.
O’Connor: So you’ll sell out your principles?
McGrath: No, no, if the Dail votes in one particular way I’ll respect that mandate, yes.
O’Connor: But it was the law to pay water charges and you chose to flout that.
McGrath: I would say I was part of the civil disobedience campaign on a particular issue that I felt very strongly about but now we’re in a new space.
Yes, McGrath is indeed in a new space, it’s called political office/power. And in common with every politician who is elected to Dail Eireann he must make a choice.
Will I, for my short-term interests, fall in with the rotten political system that has destroyed the country or will I risk my political career by seriously challenging that system in the long-term interests of the entire country?
All too predictably McGrath has opted for the traditional gombeen way of doing politics thus joining a long line of integrity free TDs who have betrayed their country.