Embattled utility company Irish Water came in for severe criticism again at the June meeting of Cashel Tipperary Municipal District for not responding to customers’ needs, and delaying the taking in charge of local estates.
Cllr Martin Browne asked how many applications are there to take estates in charge in the Cashel Tipperary area. Some 21 applications are being processed: 14 of these are being ‘moved along’ while seven estates face delays due to developer-led infrastructure issues.
Cllr Denis Leahy said Irish Water (IW) “have no face on the ground” and “they have to have an office in the town” instead of “bills coming in and interest mounting on the people in need.” There needs to be “face to face” meetings concerning leaks in the Cashel Tipperary area, insisted Cllr Leahy. “Irish Water are hiding behind the phone. It’s not good enough if you want to approach them. When will they come out of hiding and face the public? They should have an office in this building here.”
Cllr John Crosse said “it’s very difficult for us as public representatives” in terms of dealing with delays to taking estates in charge by the Council.
Cllr Roger Kennedy said the seven estates being delayed, or one third of the total, are being held up due to negotiations between Irish Water and the Department. “Why do people have to suffer while ink is put on paper? I don’t think there’s any urgency on behalf of Irish Water to co-operate with anybody. We know they are not listening to the public. It appears they don’t even want to listen to the Department. People are at their wits’ end.” The developer provided infrastructure is “mostly run effectively.” Cllr Kennedy called on Irish Water to “get up off their chairs and solve this problem. It’s not good enough that people are treated in this slipshod fashion. Irish Water just can’t agree because it was not put in place by a public authority. It’s just not good enough. I hope this is solved before the Winter comes.”
Director of Services Denis Holland said it was important to conserve water as much as possible now that Tipperary is “entering into a long period of dry weather.”
There was no point in attending workshops if there was no improvement in Irish Water, added Cllr Kennedy. “It’s at organisation, management level, that problems arise.”
There had been “some interruption” to Cashel’s water supply, and any inconvenience was regretted.