Cashel Responds to Big Freeze, but Fire Service Put on Ice

CASHEL Fire Brigade could not be sent out to help people with their frozen pipes during the cold snap due to financial problems and health and safety issues, Cashel Town Council heard this week.

CASHEL Fire Brigade could not be sent out to help people with their frozen pipes during the cold snap due to financial problems and health and safety issues, Cashel Town Council heard this week.

The prompt response of Council staff, especially that of the Town Foreman, John Canny, was singled out for praise by the Town Manager, Sean Keating. However, some Councillors objected to an "executive decision" which meant that the Fire Brigade was not called out to help with frozen pipes.

"Last year, the Fire Service came out and kept the water flowing in most houses," said Cllr Martin Browne. The decision was made without consulting the Councillors, he added.

It left a "bad taste" in his mouth. "There were a large number of elderly people left without water. It's an absolute disgrace. We saw what happened in Northern Ireland with the water. Heads rolled." Cllr Browne said many in the Fire Service would have provided their services free of charge, had they been asked.

Cllr San McCarthy said the outdoor staff worked around the clock in terrible conditions, with water "squirting on them". Cllr McCarthy said the reason given to him for the Fire Service not being made available would be made clear to people who come to him. However, the decision was not made "willy nilly" and there were a "multiplicity of factors".

Cllr Eoin Lawrence said any criticism of the response was not an attack on those individuals who braved the bad weather.

Full story in this week's Tipperary Star.