Suspend water tax call from Tipperary county councillors

Shane Donnelly

Reporter:

Shane Donnelly

A section of the attendance at a water charge protest meeting held in Clonmel on Monday night
Tipperary Co. Council passed a motion at its monthly meeting in Clonmel this week calling on Irish Water to suspend all water charges until it can provide a “flawless” service that is satisfactory in the entire country.

Tipperary Co. Council passed a motion at its monthly meeting in Clonmel this week calling on Irish Water to suspend all water charges until it can provide a “flawless” service that is satisfactory in the entire country.

Irish Water was heavily criticised by several Independent and Sinn Fein councillors, who questioned the service it was providing, its database and taxation methods.

Independent Cllr Andy Moloney, who tabled the motion, said the service Irish Water provided simply wasn’t good enough.

“If the ESB provided a service like Irish Water we’d be up in arms,” he declared.

He highlighted cases where people were without water for hours per day and often several days per week. He spoke of one couple, both suffering from ill health with one battling bowel cancer, who had to move out of their home due to a blocked sewage pipe. It took Irish Water three months to fix the problem.

He complained there were many issues with water supplies including hard water, high levels of chlorine, weak supply and no supply. Until these problems were sorted there should be no payment to Irish Water, he argued.

Another Independent Cllr Richie Molloy said the tax simply couldn’t be justified due to the hard water problems in many parts of Clonmel and elsewhere in the county.

He said hard water had led to many householders buying expensive water softeners to combat the problem.

“You have people who have to pay around €800 or €900 to first buy the softener and then they have to buy the bags of salt every month or so,” Cllr Molloy complained.

Sinn Fein Cllr Seamus Morris accused Irish Water of “arrogance” and criticised its databases.

The postman reported Nenagh Post Office sent back more than 1,000 Irish Water application packs due to incorrect addresses.

He also expressed concern that Irish Water was not required to answer to any Freedom of Information requests.

Fellow SF Cllr David Dunne said he would not be paying the charge.

Meanwhile, Independent Tipperary Town Cllr Denis Leahy called for more water allowances to be given to families who have children attending school or college regardless of their age.

He pointed out that a family with four adult children would not be eligible for any free allowances.