Following the multiple storms during January and February, Deputy Noel Coonan raised the ongoing issue of damaged phone lines with the CEO of Eircom Herb Hribar.
Many Tipperary constituents remain without an operating phone line and Deputy Coonan contacted Mr Hribar to highlight this urgent issue and ask for service to be restored as soon as possible.
“Many constituents expressed their concerns to me regarding the ongoing problem of lost phone services. Tipperary is a very large rural area with many people, especially the elderly, relying on their phones for outside contact and support. For example, panic alarm buttons do not work without an operating phone line. I called on Eircom to remedy the problem as soon as possible in the best interest of public safety for Tipperary constituents,” said Deputy Coonan.
“In response to my query, Mr Hribar said Tipperary was one of the counties worst impacted by Storm Darwin but they are working to restore service as quickly as possible. There are approximately 300 storm related faults across Tipperary currently and Eircom is hopeful that the vast majority of faults will be restored by Monday, March 31. This will come as a long awaited relief for Tipperary people.
“Mr Hribar assured me that Eircom has had 40 crews working in Tipperary to fix poles, replace cables and restore service. The delay to restoring service to these last customers reflects the scale of the damage and the complexity of the remaining faults, where there are multiple dependent faults which must be resolved with pole or cable replacement work before service can be restored.
“Eircom estimates that up to 200,000 customers nationwide have been without service over the course of the winter period. I want to commend Eircom staff who have worked hard to restore service.
“Mr Hribar assured me up to 1,600 staff have been working on repairs throughout the period and there have only been two days, one of those Christmas Day since Mid-December when Eircom crews have not been out working to restore service. Eircom crews have been moved to the worst impacted areas and have where available, brought in skilled contractors to assist with the restoration of the programme,” concluded Deputy Coonan.