Wednesday 13 December 2017

Irish Water says 'no' to meeting with residents on lead pipes

By Esther hayden

irish Water has refused to meet with residents of Bishopswater and Wexford Borough Municipal District to address the problem with lead pipes in the estate.

Wexford Borough Municipal District had written to Irish Water last July requesting Irish Water to attend a meeting with a deputation of residents from Bishopswater estate.

However last Tuesday, 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.'

Yesterday (Monday), Cllr George Lawlor said the behaviour of Irish Water was nothing short of disgraceful.

'I'm appalled at Irish Water and their treatment of the residents of Bishopswater. They have effectively washed their hands of the problem and are going as far as they are going to in terms of the problem.

'The residents will have to replace the pipes themselves if they are in a position to do so and that's a disgrace. We have to look now at whatever grant aid is there for those affected and see that the people who want to change their pipes benefit from it.

'Minister Alan Kelly announced grant aid a number of months ago and this will have to be investigated. We need to look at the finer details of that.

'120,000 people across the country are suffering from this problem. It's not just a Wexford problem. It needs to be tackled. It's really not good enough for Irish Water to issue a letter to people telling them of this problem in the first place and give no plan of action to assist homeowners. This problem wasn't caused by them yet they will have to foot the bill.'

At the Wexford Borough District monthly meeting yesterday (Monday) 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'.

Cllr Davy Hynes said he believed that any efforts by Irish Water to meet with residents to address the problem was 'an exercise in public relations. This isn't good enough. I'm very disappointed by them (Irish Water) but not surprised. They seem to believe that they have engaged with the residents and there is no point in further engagement.

'They are saying that anything from the stopcock is the homeowner's responsibility not theirs.

'Now unless the residents have the money needed to replace their pipes they are stuck with the lead pipes.

'Irish Water are at their usual carry on saying it is nothing to do with them but the residents didn't cause this problem. It's not just Bishopswater that is affected either, it's a problem running right throughout the town. '

Wexford People

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