Sinn Fein County Councillor Michael Mulligan has said that Ireland can now pursue an exemption in respect of schools from the EU Water Directive. In a statement Cllr. Mulligan said that the Irish Government’s decision to charge schools for water can now be overturned. Cllr. Mulligan said ‘Following the failure of the Irish Government to make contact with the EU Commission since the water charges for school crisis began I asked our Sinn Fein MEP Mary Lou McDonald to intervene in the matter. I can now confirm that following a successful meeting in Strasbourg with Sinn Fein MEP Mary Lou McDonald and the European Environment Commissioner Dimas the decision by the Irish Government to charge schools for water can now be overturned. ‘Ireland can still pursue an exemption in respect of schools from the Water Directive. The Government can also place a moratorium on school water charges until the end of 2009. Finally in the event that the government fails to obtain an exemption for schools from the Water Directive it can fully reimburse schools for the cost of the water charges as this would be a matter of internal accounting according to Commissioner Dimas. ‘I will be seeking a commitment from both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael that they will end their current folly and put in place all of Sinn Fein’s proposals as supported by the European Environment Commissioner’. Cllr. Mulligan concluded by thanking Mary Lou McDonald for her ‘successful intervention’ in the matter.