Council: Irish Water not in debt to us

Kerry County Council has insisted that no money is owing it from Irish Water for road repairs after projects carried out by the State agency.

The Authority was responding to a number of concerns over the poor state of a number of roads in North Kerry where Irish Water had been engaged in projects in the recent past.

Fine Gael councillor Aoife Thornton raised the issue at the recent meeting of the Listowel Municipal District, when she asked the Authority if it could provide a copy of the agreement between Irish Water and the Council - or if it could at least provide a copy of the section of the agreement relating to enforcement for the non-payment of money.

"This is regarding the roads in North Kerry where money owing from Irish Water to resurface roads has not been paid to date," Cllr Thornton explained in her submitted question.

The Council was unequivocal on any debt: "Adequate funding is always provided by Irish Water for road permanent restoration in its water and sewer pipe works. These works are generally capital in nature and are covered outside of the Service Level Agreement between Kerry County Council and Irish Water. Furthermore, there is no financial debt between Kerry County Council and Irish Water," was the official response.

The Council explained that the issue related to two separate roads in poor state: a 1.8km stretch in Laccamore, Abbeydorney; and a stretch in Farran, Causeway, following the replacement of 600ms of watermains.

The former complication came about due to the fact the original surface-dressing job post works 'failed'. The latter has nothing to do with Irish Water, meanwhile.

"In recent years there have been two issues relating to road restoration following waterworks in North Kerry," the Council stated.

"At Laccamore, Abbeydorney part of the bitumen surface dressing job 'failed' following a 1.8Km long water mains replacement job in 2017, and the work was later satisfactorily redone. Subsequently, much of the road was substantially upgraded by the Council because the traffic count had increased greatly (by more than a thousand vehicles per day) since the development of the Tralee bypass.

"At Farran, Causeway, permanent road restoration funding is available to the Council's Roads' Office following the replacement of 600m of watermain on a narrow cul-de-sac. The pipe is part of the Clanmaurice Group WSS, the funding is provided by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and Irish Water has no authority, responsibility or involvement therein."