Monday 14 October 2019

Tenant contact details given to Irish Water

John Carley, Director of Services, Wexford Co. Council.
John Carley, Director of Services, Wexford Co. Council.

THE case of a North Wexford woman who was sent an Irish Water bill addressed to her deceased husband was raised at the meeting, where councillors were informed that the details of thousands of social housing tenants have been supplied to the body.

Cllr Deirdre Wadding raised the issue, criticising management for not notifying the councillors in advance of agreeing to forward the name and addresses of tenants.

Cllr Wadding said Camolin resident Jessica Montague was sent a letter addressed to her late husband, Alan with RIP written in brackets afterwards.

Director of Services John Carley said under the Data Protection and Water Services acts the local authority was compelled to forward the information, otherwise it would have been liable for up to €600,000 per year in Irish Water charges for tenants who have not paid.

Cllr Wadding said: 'I think this is a really negative development. I think it's disastrous for tenants in council dwellings.'

She criticised the decision to forward the details prior to the consent of councillors, some of whom were preparing a motion on the issue.

'It was deferred on the basis of getting legal advice.'

Mr Carley replied: 'We should have written out to ye. I accept that; we were delaying it and delaying it but a gun was put to our heads. '

He said he and the housing officer are dealing with the Montague case. 'She shouldn't be getting a letter of that nature. I think Irish Water has said that publically.'

Finance Officer Annette O'Neill said the council has no liability to Irish Water for development liabilities. Cllr Davy Hynes described Irish Water as the most divisive body in modern Irish history. 'We are being stripped of our finances; this is supposed to be reform of local government not taking it apart.'

Wexford People