Irish Water claim staff ‘blockaded’ by protesters

Irish Water has contacted gardaí over an alleged incident in which it claims protesters blocked a metering team from leaving a filling station in Cork.

The utility claims that a group of four people prevented the metering team from leaving the filling station near Cork University Hospital and “detained” the workers for half an hour.

A caller to 96FM’s Opinion Line said the incident took place at Casement Park on Glasheen Road.

However the caller, who identified himself as Tony, said that he was one of a group who “politely” approached the driver to ask if they were installing meters in the area.

“We went over and politely asked him if he was putting in meters, and your man revved up the truck [and] drove the truck at us,” the caller alleged.

“I have been part of this water campaign since the start and we have never used any violence against these Irish Water people, we might have a bit of banter with them and a chat, but we’ve never used any violence and I want to make that very, very clear,” the caller said.

He denied that the group blocked the van.

“We went over to have a conversation with the driver,” he said, and claimed that one worker shouted obscenities at the group.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, Irish Water said it is aware of an incident on Wednesday morning “where members of our metering team were blockaded from exiting from the vicinity of a filling station close to CUH by four persons”.

“The personnel were detained for approximately 30 minutes. The matter has been reported to An Garda Síochána,” the statement read.

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