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Irish Water cuts family off from supply

Controversial utility company Irish Water has apologised for "any inconvenience" after contractors disconnected a family's home from the water mains for more than a day.

Father-of-three Bernard Molloy, from Orwell Park, in Tempelogue, told the Herald how he came home from collecting his children from school when he noticed machinery outside his house.

"It was around three o'clock and I came home and there were mini diggers on the road.

"I asked them what they were doing and if they were installing water meters, they said that they weren't that they were fitting a box," he said about the incident, which happened on December 2.

"They had already cut the main water line," he added.

Mr Molloy claimed he was not informed about any works that were to go ahead. He asked the workers if they had identification, but they did not.

The men said that they were working on behalf of Northern Ireland-based construction company Farrans, which has a contract from Irish Water to install metres.

Mr Molloy said that he has not been involved in water protests, but that around five protesters arrived and asked if they could help. He said that they were not being disruptive.

When the workers decided to leave, Mr Molloy said he asked them to reconnect his water and they initially agreed. However, a phone call was made and the men were instructed not to reconnect the house to water.

"Even the guys who were working there thought it was absolutely ridiculous," he said.

When he contacted Irish Water, he claimed that he was told the company's records showed that he was connected.

He also said when the engineer arrived to reconnect the water the following day, he refused to provide identification and was wearing sunglasses.

"I have a problem with the idea that some private company can come deprive my family of water," he said. "What right does a private company have to cut three children off from their water supply?"

A statement from Irish Water to the Herald about the incident apologised for "any inconvenience caused as a result of the metering works".

Children

The company said that contractors working on behalf of Irish Water and Irish Water field staff "attempted to negotiate to reconnect the supply to the property" on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately this was not successful," it added.

The supply was reconnected on Wednesday evening and the meter box installed, the company said.

The company said that homes were informed about installation works two weeks beforehand, and then again two days before they occurred. Each household also gets an information pack on the process.

hnews@herald.ie


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