North Cork villagers object to change of water supply proposal

People living in a North Cork village are objecting to Irish Water’s plans to connect their homes to a new water system, due to concerns over the quality of the supply.

They claim the supply is regarded as the “hardest water” in the country and could cost locals a small fortune in replacing washing machines, kettles, backboilers and other appliances.

Residents living in the Macroney and Castlecooke areas of Kilworth village are up in arms over the utility company’s plans to hook them up to the supply scheme at nearby Downing Bridge.

Their concerns were raised by councillors Deirdre O’Brien and Frank O’Flynn at a meeting of the county council’s northern division.

The pair claimed there was “absolutely nothing wrong” with the quality of the present supply to householders in the Macroney and Castlecooke areas.

Ms O’Brien said she was concerned that Irish Water just wanted to centralise supply systems and the current supply to those townlands was “soft water” which didn’t present any problems when it came to limescale build-up, which causes considerable damage to appliances.

“It’s a question of don’t fix it if it’s not broken,” Ms O’Brien told the meeting in Mallow.

Ms O’Brien was co-opted to the council to replace her brother, TD Kevin O’Keeffe. She said there had been a big problem with the Downing Bridge supply for many years.

“When my brother was a councillor he actually proposed a motion that those householders on that water supply line get a special grant to compensate them for buying water-softeners because of the damage being done to appliances by hard water.

"It’s unfair on people who regularly have to buy new appliances because hard water shortens the life expectancy. It can be expensive.”

Mr O’Flynn said people living in the townlands “were very upset by the proposal from Irish Water” and could not understand why it was being suggested.

Council officials said they would correspond with Irish Water and would deliver a report on the situation at next month’s northern division meeting.


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