Irish Water left Tipperary town 'in the dark'

Water utility company criticised sharply for lack of communication

Eoin Kelleher


Eoin Kelleher


Irish Water left Tipperary town 'in the dark'

Irish Water left the people of Tipperary town “in the dark” recently after the water was turned off, heard this month’s meeting of Cashel Tipperary Municipal District.

Cllr Martin Browne called attention to the water being turned off over a busy weekend, but there was “no information” for townspeople or Councillors.

Irish Water didn’t notify “how long it was going to take,” and the County Council was not informed. “I didn’t find out about until Friday morning,” said Cllr Browne. Tipperary town is struggling, but there were no emails from Irish Water, leaving people “in the dark for 24 hours. It’s completely unacceptable.” While they were doing a good job in other areas, they “undo it with work like that,” added Cllr Browne.

Cllr John Crosse said there was no water for areas of Tipperary town for nearly four days. “We are in the dark.” Cllr Crosse spoke to an official who said it would be “okay,” but it’s still “unknown.” “I’d like to express my concern about what they are doing.”

Cllr Denis Leahy said he was away that Thursday but became aware the water had been turned off. Irish Water did leave a “deficit of information” regarding water tankers, and they needed more help. It was his understanding that that there was ‘turbidity’ in the system, which caused the waters to muddy. “The level of turbidity had to decrease for the water to be turned back on,” said Cllr Leahy. “The level had to fall for human consumption.” “You never realise how important (water) is until it’s turned off, especially for businesses.” But a lot of work was done to get the water back on. “We are critical in business, you need to know where you stand.”

Cllr Roger Kennedy said the biggest problem was lack of communication. He called on Irish Water to communicate via local radio, and “one phone call would have done it.” “I received no information from Irish Water. I contacted them and they said it would be on their website. Why can’t they communicate it? They’re shooting themselves in the foot.” The Schools had no water and local premises had to close. In the era of instant communication, “why can’t they pass it on to local people?”. Cllr Kennedy said Irish Water should make it a priority to notify radio stations, and Co. Councillors. When you logged on to their website, all it says is “there is an outage in Tipperary town” but we don’t know where or when it will be back up, added Cllr Kennedy.

District Engineer Aidan Finn said the turbidity was high in Cordangan. Any dirt in the water has to be chlorinated to ensure there are no bugs in the system, and “they have to turn it off.” There was uncertainty regarding a well, and flushing it out did not work. “They did inform Tipp Mid West radio,” said Mr Finn. “There needs to be clearer communication in the future.” Cllr Fitzgerald requested District Administrator Marie McGivern to write to Irish Water “in a very, very strong way” to notify the utility that “it’s just not good enough.” “There’s no excuse for leaving people in the dark,” said Cllr Fitzgerald.