County councillors have reacted with fury to news that Irish Water has again rowed back on promises to provide a drought-stricken village with a proper supply.
The people of Kildorrery, Co Cork, have suffered a multitude of water outages since 2011.
On several occasions since, Irish Water had said it would build a new reservoir and replace 2.4km of water main which are constantly leaking.
But yesterday councillors were informed by the county engineer, David Keane, of further delays and he said he could not tell them when the work would be done because previous commitments from Irish Water had not been honoured.
Irish Water has postponed the reservoir project, saying it wants to carry out a new survey and that the mains replacement is still under assessment by the utility.
Mr Keane said Irish Water had “taken a step back” on both projects. He said the only good news he had for them was that he was to meet with Irish Water officials today to discuss the project.
“In 2011 this council said the work there was absolutely necessary. We were told [by Irish Water] work on the new reservoir would commence in the second quarter of this year. The present reservoir can’t meet requirements. It’s a hopeless situation, and now they’re having another review,” Fianna Fáil councillor Frank O’Flynn said. “I think Irish Water has no funding in place and it is stalling because of that.
“It’s an absolute disgrace what’s happening to the people of Kildorrery. We’ve been promised over and over again [by Irish Water] that this work would be done.”
The council’s northern division chairman, Independent councillor Tim Collins, said Mr Keane should not be doing the dirty work for Irish Water, especially as Irish Water officials have refused to attend council meetings.
“I’ll go as far as to say Irish Water is a complete disaster,”he said.
“This is going backwards. The people of Kildorrery have put up with this long enough,” Labour councillor Noel McCarthy said.
“It’s gone beyond a joke,” Fianna Fáil councillor Ian Doyle added. He said monthly clinics Irish Water officials hold with councillors were a waste of time because nobody in authority with the utility attends them.
Mr Keane admitted that previous commitments from Irish Water about improving the Kildorrery supply had not been honoured.
“I’m therefore reluctant to give any deadlines to you [councillors] on the project,” Mr Keane said.
He said was very aware of the dire situation in Kildorrery and would pass on councillors’ comments to Irish Water officials when he meets them today.
“I will put the case to them very strongly,” Mr Keane said.
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