A coalition of trade unions today (Thursday 27th October) launched the ‘Keep Water Public’ campaign, which calls on the Government to confirm a date for a constitutional referendum on the public ownership of water services. The campaign is supported by SIPTU, Fórsa, Unite, Connect and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. ICTU president and Fórsa general secretary, Kevin Callinan, said the campaign to name the date for a referendum represented a shared commitment by trade unions to ensure the future of public ownership of water services: “It’s time now to end any lingering uncertainty about the future of water services in Ireland. A referendum would give people the opportunity to have their say, in addition to providing us all with a unique opportunity to safeguard public ownership of water for future generations. In that sense, there should be no further hesitation, and we are urging the Government now to name the date. In doing so, it would be taking a welcome and positive step.” John King, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary said: “Union members have been fighting for years to make sure that water services are delivered for the public good and not private profit. We now need the Government to live up to its commitments and name the date for the referendum.” Unite Regional Officer Ed Thompson added: “At recent meetings, our members involved in the delivery of water services have mandated Unite to campaign with other unions for the Government to ‘Name the Date’.  The demand for a referendum enshrining public ownership and management of our water in the Constitution is long-standing Unite policy. The Government now needs to follow through on its commitments and set a firm date for the referendum.  This issue cannot be kicked down the road any further”. Annette Donlon, SIPTU Local Authority Shop Steward said: “The public wants a guarantee that public water services are delivered for the public good and not for private profit. We are asking them to show their support by getting involved with the campaign and by signing the petition we are circulating to ‘Keep Water Public’.