How useful it is to have such well-informed politicians as John Kelly, a Labour Party senator from Co Roscommon. He was able to tell us that there are 300–400 people “moored on our canals and waterways”, which is rather fewer than WI thinks, what with there being over 8000 boats registered on the Shannon. The learned Senator Kelly was also able to tell us that, of those 300–400 people,
Most of them are retired couples from England who are receiving small English pensions. This proposal will drive them off the water and back to England. They are contributing hugely to local economies throughout this country.
Most of them? For, I presume, certain values of most — and certain values of 300–400.
Maybe whoever is briefing politicians could make sure they can read their briefs properly …. It was almost a relief to turn to the more conventional Trottery from Joe Higgins. I imagine that his intervention will certainly sway Fine Gael.
Addendum: Senator Kelly did it again next day, but at least he had changed most to many.
Approximately 400 families in this country currently paying only €126 per year in respect of mooring will if these by-laws are introduced now be faced with charges of €3,500 per annum. Many of the people concerned are retired English couples and families who cannot afford housing.
The concept of a range of prices seems to be unfamiliar to the good senator, so he takes the top rate, for the largest size of boat in the best location with the highest level of services, and says that that applies to all. And he seems to be unaware that many boats are parked by people who do not live on them.
Had the good senator had able to read Waterways Ireland’s document, he would have seen that proposed mooring fees range upwards from €160 for non-residential moorings (many boats are not lived on) and €1250 for residential. Claiming that the highest value is the only one is seriously misleading.