4 November 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Have you received a phone call recently from Irish Water? let us know by emailing news@TheCork.ie
Anti Austerity Alliance Councillor on Cork City Council Mick Barry this morning claimed that Irish Water is conducting an “intimidating campaign of cold calling in the Cork area warning people of penalties for non-payment of water charges when penalties can’t fall due for at least another 9-10 months”.
Cllr Barry said that he had received several reports from people who had been phoned by Irish Water representatives in recent days warning that fines would ensue if charges remain unpaid.
Cllr Barry pointed out, however, that penalties (30 euro for those who live alone and 60 euro for those in a multi person household) can’t kick in until July or August of next year when the fifth bills fall due and that this is after a General Election which might result in the abolition of the charges.
The Irish Water call centre is based in the former Motorola building in Blackrock.
Cllr Barry said: “It is a real sign of Irish Water’s desperation that they have started making these calls nearly a full year before penalties can kick in. They have utterly failed to persuade people and intimidation of this kind is the only resource they have to fall back on.”
Irish Water conceded last month that 52% of its targeted customer base had failed to pay the second Irish Water bill.
Cllr Barry concluded: “I appeal to people to hold firm and maintain the boycott and not to be intimidated by this cold calling campaign. If the mass boycott can be kept up until the General Election abolition of the water charge will feature as a major General Election issue and the next Government will be under massive pressure to do precisely that. No penalties can kick in until after the General Election so, at a minimum, all those who are boycotting should stand their ground at least until that point.”