Dún Árd residents: ‘No water meters until leaking pipe is repaired’

Residents on the northside of Cork City have vowed to resist the installation of water meters until a water pipe in their estate which they say has been leaking for over a decade, is repaired.

Dún Árd residents: ‘No water meters until leaking pipe is repaired’

The residents of the 52-house Dún Árd estate in Mayfield, several of whom rent their homes from Cork City Council, attended a public meeting last night to organise their resistance.

Irish Water plans to begin installing meters in the nearby Silversprings area next week, before moving to Mayfield.

But Dún Árd resident, John Feighery, said he and his neighbours will resist.

“We are encouraging people to stand firm,” he said.

“The Irish rail workers got what they wanted this week by sticking together. If we do the same, we can fight this. It’s all about uniting.”

He said residents are concerned that they could face higher costs because a water pipe in the estate has been leaking for at least 14 years.

He said Irish Water shouldn’t come anywhere near their estate until that issue is dealt with first.

Older neighbours said during the construction of the housing estate up to 14 years ago the pipe was tapped into, and never repaired properly.

Mr Feighery reckons more than 350m litres of water could have leaked from the pipe over the years.

Neighbour, Karen Collins, said while she doesn’t have a problem paying for water, she will resist the installation of a water meter.

“Where I come from in Galway, we used a group water scheme and paid for that,” she said.

“But there’s a problem with the way this is being rolled out. We don’t know the rate we will have to pay and they’re asking for our PPS numbers. We used the public meeting to give people the information, and then asked them to make an informed choice about whether they want a meter or not. If they want a meter, then that’s fine. But at least make an informed decision.”

Another neighbour, Seamus Kelly, said he is prepared to go to jail in his battle with Irish Water.

“I believe that water should be free because we’re paying for it already,” he said.

“Irish people are afraid to stand up and fight for what they believe in because they think they are going to lose a lot of things. We want people to stand up and say we’ve had enough. The Government have sold us out, they don’t give a monkeys about us. We need a brand new breed of politician. We want our country back.”

Meanwhile, residents in Carrigaline blamed anti-water meter protesters for heavy traffic congestion near the town’s gaelscoil yesterday morning.

Protesters denied they stood on speed ramps, resulting in huge traffic jams.

The latest issue in Carrigaline comes just a week after the FluichOff protest group distanced itself from the Ballyphehane/South Parish Says No group because of the “threatening and intimidating behaviour” of one of the Ballyphehane protesters.

He has since been asked to step back from the campaign.

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