Latest Laois News: Irish Water blasted by Laois County Councillors

Latest Laois News: Irish Water blasted by Laois County Councillors

Lack of communication from Irish Water deemed not acceptable by Laois Councillors

Total lack of communication from Irish Water thundered councillors

July’s monthly meeting of Laois County Council (held last Monday 26/07/21) saw many local councillors vent their displeasure at Irish Water. At the heart of the councillors’ unhappiness is what they perceive to be the total lack of communication from it.

The recent water restrictions in Portlaoise saw matters come to a head in the Council Chamber this morning. In particular the area in and around the county town’s Mountmellick Road area was badly hit by the reduced and, in some cases, no water supply between the hours of 10pm and 6pm. However local residents had been in touch with both local councillors and the Laois People claiming that on some evenings they had no supply from 8pm on one evening and 9pm on a subsequent evening.

Irish water's statement in response to complaints about the water quality in Portlaoise
Irish Water’s communication or lack thereof a focus of Laois Councillors’ anger

Portlaoise-based County Councillor Caroline Dwane-Stanley was less than impressed with Irish Water and how they communicate with residents.

“(The water restrictions) has a huge impact the whole way down the Mountmellick Road. It has impacted over 1,000 homes. There is a total lack of communication for example when I make representations on behalf of (an affected) local person.”

In response Laois County Council Director of Services Simon Walton admitted the following:

“Residents have suffered significant inconvenience. (As for communication) it amounts to a notice going on Irish Water’s website. Irish Water has to account for that.”

Another Portlaoise-based County Councillor Willie Aird followed up on Cllr. Dwane-Stanley’s remarks as follows:

“There is a huge underlying problem with Irish Water. I want to get to the bottom of this. Who is Mr. Irish Water in head office who turned it (the water) off?

in response Laois County Council Director of Services Simon Walton said that if Laois County Council (LCC) staff see a problem (with water supply) that LCC communicate with Irish Water via email.

Cllr. Willie Aird thundered the following in response:

“I propose the names of those individuals in Irish Water (who turned off the water supply) be sent to LCC Councillors.”

photo of rain drop splashing in pool
Irish Water’s communication with both local councillors and residents blasted by local councillors

However Councillors were quick to praise the performance of LCC water staff during the recent weeks.

Councillor Padraig Fleming wanted to commend the council and the council staff in regards to recent burst water pipes.

“I got a text at 12.30am (one night) about a burst water pipe and had to decide whether to phone Eddie Kelly (LCC water staff member) at 1 o’ clock in the morning. I did. Unbelievable service. Eddie got out with in an hour and (turned off the water.) Larry and his staff got out on that Sunday morning and fixed the problem.”

Councillor Willie Aird concurred with Cllr. Fleming and went on to say:

“If it wasn’t for Larry (and his LCC water staff) keeping things ticking over (I don’t know where we’d be).”

in response Councillor Ben Brennan called upon the Minister to come down to LCC and their the councillors what was going on.

“We have no communication from Irish Water. We want the Minister down here. Not Irish Water telling us all the fibs they like.”

No doubt if restrictions continue throughout the remainder of the summer and into the autumn Irish Water will be the target of yet more anger in the Laois County Council chamber.