Irish Water communication far from fluid

If councillors in the South-West needed any more ammunition against Irish Water for its lack of proper communications, they were handed it on a plate when the utility company shot itself in the foot, again.

Irish Water officials eventually agreed to address public representatives about its communications policy — or lack of it — by meeting them on October 31.

But the agreement to meet on Halloween, and sent to councillors in Cork City, Cork county, and Kerry came with a horror clanger — the venue was not revealed.

It was left to Cork’s county engineer David Keane to make phonecalls to ascertain the venue would actually be the aptly-named Moran Silver Springs Hotel in Cork.

Furious county councillors in Cork said it was a typical example of the “disastrous way” in which Irish Water was conducting its business.

“A student-run Transition Year mini company would have done a better job than Irish Water, said mayor of Cork County, Alan Coleman. “Their attempts to liaise with public representatives are absolutely pathetic.”

He also pointed out that Irish Water had obviously not tried to liaise on a planned meeting date with Cork County Council’s corporate affairs unit, otherwise they would have been told none of its 55 councillors would be available as they would be “on in house training”.

The latest debacle came just days after councillors said they had spent several hours unsuccessfully trying to get information about serious water outages in the Ballycotton and Bandon areas.

Cllr Pat Buckley (SF) maintained on at least four occasions he tried to no avail to ascertain the situation in East Cork, despite being told councillors would be updated through a dedicated hotline — which is not available after normal working hours.

Councillors Rachel McCarthy (SF) and Margaret Murphy O’Mahony (FF) claimed they couldn’t get any information about problems in Bandon.

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