Irish Water apologises over 'no notice' barriers
Irish Water has apologised after a wheelchair-bound man was 'barricaded' into his house by one of its crews who arrived unannounced to install a water meter.
Jacinta Ryan, from Davitt Road North, said her parents, George and Monica Carley, had received a 14-day notice booklet from Irish Water, but the first her mother know that a crew had been outside was when she looked out last Monday morning to find barricades in place with only a 27 inch gap left for access.
'There was no sign of the workers, and there was no notice whatsoever that work was starting,' said Jacinta, who contacted Cllr Anthony Kelly and later spoke to Cllr George Lawlor to try to get the situation resolved.
She said that at about 4.30 p.m. an Irish Water crew arrived, but she told them not to do anything until an explanation was offered about why the job had been started without her parents being notified.
'I asked them why was that (the barrier) put up there and was 27 inches reasonable access, never mind for a wheelchair user.'
Jacinta said she then heard a worker on the phone saying that he 'had to deal with this s**t'.
'My 81-year-old father barricaded into his house is not a s**t issue,' she said.
Cllr Lawlor said he spoke to James Whelan from the county council who in turn spoke to Irish Water. Later in the day, another Irish Water van arrived and the situation was resolved 'in a civil and polite manner' with the barriers being moved and the hole for the meter covered with hard plastic.
'They came back this morning and finished the job,' said Jacinta.
She said she had been told that the Irish Water workers did not knock doors before proceeding with their work fitting meters in case they sparked protests.
But this, she said, was simply not good enough in a case like hers in which her father needed 24-hour access to and from his house.
'What would have happened if we had needed the emergency services?'
She said that on Tuesday, Fintan Ryan from Irish Water had called to the house, 'apologised profusely' and said he would find out why the barriers had been put up without notice.
Jacinta said she wanted to thank Cllrs Lawlor and Kelly for their help in getting the issue resolved.