Irish Water stopped from entering Limerick estate

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

This here, no further: Residents set up a picket at the entrance of the Castletroy View estate, in a move which saw Irish Water contractors unable to install water meters this Monday. Picture: Mike Cowhey
IRISH Water engineers have been prevented from working in another city estate as Castletroy View residents protested.

IRISH Water engineers have been prevented from working in another city estate as Castletroy View residents protested.

After the state water utility firm began work to install a small number of water meters in Windsor Court, a small part of the estate on Friday, residents acted.

A public meeting was held on Sunday night, and a picket of around 20 residents was set up at the entrance to the estate from breakfast-time Monday.

The gardai were called to the scene, but were unsuccessful in breaking the picket.

Arrangements have also been made with neighbouring estates in Singland after Irish Water engineers attempted to begin installing meters there once they could not get into Castletroy View.

Harold Richardson, who chairs the Tidy Towns committee, said: “We did not want to roll over and let it go ahead, so we are just making a point that the majority of people in this area do not agree with charges.”

In particular, Harold said he was opposed to giving his PPS number to Irish Water.

“Why should I have to divulge that information to a service? We don’t have to do it for electricity or gas,” he asked.

Having installed meters at a handful of houses on Friday, an agreement was reached that contractors could at least fill in the holes they dug.

But Harold said any further work is out-of-bounds.

“We are not rolling over,” he confirmed.

Local councillor Paul Keller, of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, also lives in the estate.

“I am delighted to see everyone supporting the issue here. The AAA is in its infancy, but we are becoming known for the work we are doing. We are peaceful demonstrators. You can see the numbers are still here, although Irish Water has left the scene. It is not looking too good for Irish Water.”

Cllr Keller said the protestors are well aware of the flat charge which residents face if they don’t get meters fitted.

No-one is doing this blindly. Everyone is aware of the risks, and are well up for it,” he said, adding the focus will shift to non-payment when the first bills issue in January.

Irish Water did not respond to a request for a comment.