Limerick TD critical of Irish Water for ‘changing goal posts’ as notice remains in place

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Fine Gael TD Tom Neville has slammed Irish Water for their poor handling of the situation and for their failure to update customers over the weekend

Fine Gael TD Tom Neville has slammed Irish Water for their poor handling of the situation and for their failure to update customers over the weekend

AS RATHKEALE households and businesses are without drinking water for the fourth day running, Limerick TD Tom Neville has strongly criticised Irish Water for its handling of the issue.

The Do Not Drink Notice was put in place on Friday and Irish Water issued a statement this Monday lunchtime saying that it will continue in place until further notice

Work is underway to try and resolve the matter as soon as possible, a spokesman for Irish Water said

“We are carrying out water sampling in the area and we will share the results of this testing with the HSE,” he said, explaining that turbidity was the reason behind the Do Not Drink notice in the first place. 

Drilling work is also taking in the area to identify possibly alternative water sources, he added. 

Meanwhile, supplies of bottled water will be available and can be collected at the Square, Rathkeale. If elderly or vulnerable customers have particular requirements for water they can contact 1850 278 278.

But Fine Gael TD Tom Neville has slammed Irish Water for their poor handling of the situation and for their failure to update customers over the weekend. 

“The website was not updated since Friday,” he said. “I am critical of the communications process. Irish Water should not be relying on public representatives to get the message out there. We will help of course but there needs to be more direct communication with customers.” 

It should be possible he argued to send individual text updates to customers.

“If there is a data protection issue, let me know and we can change the law,” he said. 

Deputy Neville was also critical of the way bottled water was delivered to the 2,500 or so customers affected.

“They changed the goal posts,” he charged.

First it was supposed to happen on Friday, then on Saturday, he said. 

In its statement this lunchtime, Irish Water acknowledged that the problem is causing inconvenience for people living in the area.

“We would like to thank them for their patience and support as we work to resolve this issue.”

But the company warned that customers will notice some reduction in water pressure over the coming days and particularly at night as work proceeds to address the problem. In the meantime, the water should NOT be used for drinking, for preparing drinks made with water, for preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating, for brushing of teeth or gargling or for making ice. In particular pregnant women should not drink this water, they warn. 

Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink and caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water