The Coalition is said to be mired in deep crisis over the Taoiseach’s disastrous and shambolic handling of the water charges issue, and many have begun to question his ability to lead the country.
In a week where a High Court injunction was first granted to set up and exclusion zone around water meter installation sites, and then works halted altogether over violent confrontations between workers and the public, and mere days after a tense stand-off took place in front of a Garda station in Coolock where some water protesters were being held, one might safely say that public wrath about water charges has reached melting point.
Massive public demonstrations, and general confusion as to how much would households be charged for water usage, have led many among the Coalition to believe that their days in Government are numbered.
Some ministers have reportedly admitted in private that the Government has suffered a decisive defeat on the issue and that people will now only accept a total U-turn.
‘We are not in control of this,’ one minister said. ‘If anything else goes wrong, the Government’s lifespan will be shortened.’
It is understood that dissent is widespread among all party levels.
Another minister has said that the Taoiseach must ‘step up’, and lead the party out of the water charges controversy.
Things appeared to have gone too far at this stage however, and the only possible way out for the Government and the country at this point is an early visit to the polls.