Irish Water criticised for 'high handed' approach
Irish Water was strongly criticised for its 'high handed' approach to both the residents of Bishopswater and Wexford Borough Municipal District.
The local authority had written to Irish Water last July requesting Irish Water to attend a meeting with a deputation of residents from Bishopswater estate. However on September 15 Irish Water contacted the council to say 'representatives of Irish Water will not be available to attend this meeting',
The letter went on to say that 'we have met with councillors on two previous occasion and met with a deputation from Bishopswater housing estate at one of those meetings. We have also provided an update to councillors and representatives of Bishopswater housing estate on Irish Water's work to address the lead issue nationally.'
Cllr Davy Hynes said he was 'disappointed but not surprised. The last two meetings were obviously only an exercise in public relations. They are throwing it back on the householder now. The only suggestion of dealing with the problem through orthophosphate came from the council.'
Cllr. Deirdre Wadding said 'it is absolutely disgraceful that they have refused to meet the residents. We, as a body, should offer to meet the residents again. It is incumbent on us. Cllr George Lawlor said it was imperative that the council find out all the necessary details of a grant aid scheme to help the residents get access to this.
Cllr Tony Dempsey pointed out that the water was actually injurious to people's health and said it was appalling that Irish Water was telling that council that 'it is not prepared to listen'.
'Irish Water is a commercial entity and subject to the rules of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act and I don't think they are entitled to see water that is of poor quality and injurious to health and the unborn. Irish Water's input is high handed.'
He said he had previously asked Irish Water for a price comparison between the cost of replacing the lead pipes and the cost of treating the water with orthophosphate but this had not been forthcoming.
Cllr Frank Staples said that between 22,000 and 24,000 houses in Wexford were affected by the problem of lead pipes adding there was a genuine fear out there. 'People are frightened and it should be sorted out' he said.
The members then agreed to write to Irish Water highlighting their annoyance.