Councillor unable to contact Irish Water despite 27 attempts

Terry Hunt protesting outside the Main Guard
Complaints about the disruption water meter installation is causing in estates in Clonmel were highlighted by councillors at a Municipal District Council meeting last Thursday.

Complaints about the disruption water meter installation is causing in estates in Clonmel were highlighted by councillors at a Municipal District Council meeting last Thursday.

And the meeting of Carrick Municipal District Council also heard of one councillor’s 27 failed attempts to contact Irish Water over a period of four days last week.

Council Chairman Cllr Eddie O’Meara (Ind) complained about the disruption the water meter installers were causing in estates on the Cashel Road in Clonmel last week after the Council’s Senior Engineer in Water Services Denis Holland addressed the meeting about the progress of water and waste water projects in the district.

He said residents complained the installation work was taking two to three days and this was in places where protests weren’t an issue. “I believe there is a hell of a lot of disruption. People can’t bring in cars to their drive ways.”

Sinn Fein Cllr David Dunne, who is involved in the anti-water charges campaign in Carrick-on-Suir, claimed the meter installers were breaking health & safety rules in Clonmel by blocking up both sides of estate roadways with their machinery, which meant emergency vehicles couldn’t access homes.

On a separate issue, he said he was informed by Irish Water that it wasn’t installing meters in unfinished private housing estate.

Meanwhile, Ballingarry Cllr Imelda Goldsboro said people were having extreme difficulties trying to contact Irish Water. She tried about 27 times to contact Irish Water between last Monday and Thursday but couldn’t get through. There was even a backlog when she tried to report her issue via email.

Mr Holland said he would bring the councillors’ complaints to Irish Water’s attention. He outlined that meter installation was substantially completed in North Tipperary but it was expected it would be substantially rolled out in South Tipperary by late March. This was just phase one of the programme, installing meters at straight forward sites. Installation of meters in less straight forward places like apartment buildings would happen at a later stage.

He said the difficulties concerning unfinished estates, whose services hadn’t been taken in charge, was being considered nationally by a working group comprising local authority, Irish Water and Department of Environment representatives.

In relation to Cllr Goldsboro’s complaint, Mr Holland said Irish Water’s Cork based call centre was receiving 70,000 calls a week, mostly related to the metering programme and filling out the Irish Water form.