LIMERICK City and County Council looks set to hand over details of its 5,000-plus tenants to Irish Water.
The semi-state water body has requested names and addresses of tenants from the local authority, and under the Water Services Act, the council must supply this information.
Sinn Fein’s northside councillor Maurice Quinlivan has urged the council to refuse to hand over this information, and will raise the matter at the metropolitan area meeting which takes place Monday next.
“Limerick City and County Council should not play any part in aiding and abetting Irish Water to send bills out to hard-pressed citizens of our city.
“I am calling on all councillors to stand with the people of Limerick and ensure that the city administration get a clear instruction not to proceed to transfer tenant details to Irish Water,” he said.
Cllr Quinlivan said he believes Irish Water could not be trusted with this data.
“The company is owned by Bord Gais, and they had a major problem with data protection when they lost iPads containing data.
“We should not be co-operating with Irish Water. If a tenant wants to pay their bill, so be it. We should not be assisting them in any way,” he said.
The Sinn Fein councillor pointed out that the council does not supply data on tenants to other utilities like the electricity suppliers, and the gas companies.
When it was put to Cllr Quinlivan that the council was legally bound to supply the information, he responded: “We are empowered by the law to do an awful lot of things which we do not do. I just hope the council does not prioritise this.”
He added: “We need clarification from the government in respect of a lot of things around Irish Water. Different issues pop up each week.
“It shows the shambles of what was established there. We need to see whatever we can do to ensure that we do not supply them with this information.”