26 May 2016
By Tom O’Sullivan
Sinn Féin TD for Cork East, Pat Buckley has called on Irish Water to immediately cease billing people who live in areas with a boil water notice. He made his comments during a debate on a Sinn Féin bill to abolish water charges, stating that a number of areas in his constituency with unsafe contaminated water supplies were still being billed by Irish Water.
Deputy Buckley said:
“Despite the proposed suspension of water charges, the people of East Cork are still receiving their water bills in full in the boil water notice areas of Whitegate, Cloyne , Ballinacurra and Ballycotton just to mention a few.
“In recent days, I have received a number of complaints from my constituents in these areas complaining that Irish Water are still issuing bills for water in and water out, despite the fact that the residents of these areas were assured that they would not be charged for water in.
“In recent days, I have also received two separate answers from Irish Water pertaining to the same Question that I and my Sinn Féin County Councillors have submitted on behalf of the people in East Cork.
“Irish Water have said ‘where a boil water notice has been issued, or where a customer is subject to a drinking water restriction notice linked to the public water supply network, affected customers will receive a 100% discount to the water supply portion of a their bill for the duration of the restriction which will be reflected in their next bill.’
“So why are these costumers still being billed for water in and water out?
“Irish Water also failed to properly notify many people in the locality of the boil water notice. They are able to send a bill to every household when it comes to collecting money, but are not able to notify every household when it comes to the safety of their water supply. This is unacceptable.
“It shows clearly that where Irish Water is concerned, charges are more important that public safety.” ENDS