Fianna Fáil TD Bobby Aylward has called on the Minister for Environment Alan Kelly to suspend water charges for those whose supplies have been affected by the recent flooding.
Deputy Aylward pointed out that many residents in towns and villages across south Kilkenny have been experiencing frequent interruptions to their water supplies due to damage caused by flooding.
“The flooding has caused serious damage to the water infrastructure, which has led to the loss of supply for many households and businesses. The ongoing disruptions are causing serious hardship.
"In the last ten days people in Ballygorey, Ballygriffin, Luffany, Carrigeen Village, Dungooley, Aglish, Mooncoin, Dournane, Ballybrassil, Clonmore, Grange, Ballytarsney, Polerone, Licketstown, Moonveen, Portnahully ae have had to endure significant interruptions to their water supply. The people of Graiguenamanagh, who were pushed to the brink during the recent flooding, have also had their water cut off for lengthy periods of time.
“It’s unfair to expect households to pay water charges in light of the ongoing disruptions. The water infrastructure is simply not up to scratch, and Fianna Fáil believes that there should be no charges until such a time as the entire infrastructure is brought up to standard. I’m calling on Minister Kelly to make the sensible decision and ensure that at the very least water charges are suspended for those who are affected by ongoing disruptions.
“I have reliable information that many concerned residents living in Graiguenamanagh who are still boiling their water due to the presence of Cryptosporidium in their supplies. The presence of this parasite, which was confirmed by Irish Water last November, can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illness. It’s a scandal that people living in Graiguenamanagh are still being forced to pay water charges despite the fact that their supply could make them sick if they do not boil the water.
“Irish Water has cost the state in excess of €750m to date. This is money that people expect to be spent on upgrading our water infrastructure and improving other vital services. A clean, reliable and safe supply of water is the very least that people expect from Irish Water. They should not have to pay charges until they get such a supply,” said Deputy Aylward.