Sunday 11 December 2016

Irish Water and a raging torrent of inconvenient truths

Had Irish Water not been set up, we could have saved €240m and fixed the leaks too, says Stephen Donnelly

Stephen Donnelly

Published 05/04/2015 | 02:30

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: Crowds in Dublin demonstrating against water charges in October last year. Protesters assembled at Parnell Square before marching down O’Connell Street towards Dail Eireann on Kildare Street. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: Crowds in Dublin demonstrating against water charges in October last year. Protesters assembled at Parnell Square before marching down O’Connell Street towards Dail Eireann on Kildare Street. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Throughout the week, Irish Water and Fine Gael/Labour were killed telling us the good news - they'd be able to find lots of leaks, and fix them - all thanks to those water meters.

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No business case has been presented, but even a cursory glance at the figures shows that they'll be the most expensive fixed pipes in Christendom.

And then there's the detail - the majority of leaks won't actually be fixed, or paid for, by Irish Water. While they'll deal with leaks, once, if they're between the road and the house, it's expected that most leaks are in the houses. So it'll be up to homeowners to pay plumbers to find them and fix them. And if home owners don't? Well, an Irish Water spokesman pointed out on Morning Ireland that they have enforcement powers, so they can insist. RTE's Cathal Mac Coille suggested that it sounded very like a threat. I had to agree.

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