Gardaí called as Limerick residents block Irish Water staff

Gardai had to be called after residents of a Limerick housing estate prevented Irish Water staff from entering the estate this morning to lay water meters.

Gardaí called as Limerick residents block Irish Water staff

Gardai had to be called after residents of a Limerick housing estate prevented Irish Water staff from entering the estate this morning to lay water meters.

Workers from the private company arrived at around 7am to begin digging up pavements outside homes in Abbeylock, Corbally.

However, the company vehicles were stopped from entering the estate by a waiting wall of residents.

The peaceful stand-off continued for about an hour, locals said.

Gardaí, who were called to the scene, left soon afterwards after residents told them they were engaged in a lawful, peaceful protest.

The metre installation workers left shortly afterwards to cheers from residents.

A number of metres were installed at the estate yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Anti Austerity Alliance (AAA) has called on people affected by the "ongoing water crisis" in Limerick City, to attend the next meeting of the city councillors next Monday at 9:30am in City Hall, Merchant's Quay, where motions on the issue are to be debated.

Thousands of people in the City have been told by Irish Water not to drink the supply in their homes after unsafe levels of lead were found in the system due to the presence of ancient lead pipes in the homes.

High lead levels can cause development problems in growing babies and in the foetus' of pregnant women. It can also cause other serious health problems.

AAA Limerick Councillor Cian Prendiville has put forward a motion before the council for free bottled drinking water to be provided to those affected until all lead pipes are removed.

He said he believes the motion could pass "if people keep up the pressure on the councillors".

He said the motion would also guarantee that water is delivered directly to the elderly and others unable to collect it themselves, and he called for an exemption from the water tax for those affected.

Cllr Prendiville said: "People have heard enough vague statements, they want definite promises, and clear action, and that's what this motion attempts to provide.

"I think all the councillors will be judged not on what they say, but on what they do and how they vote on this motion."

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