Water pressure should not be cut or reduced, Kelly says

Minister for Environment says language used over non-paying customers was wrong

The Minister for the Environment said he does not want to see water pressure being cut off or pressure reduced for non-payment .

“I don’t think it was appropriate to be using the language of going out and telling people their water would be disconnected or the pressure reduced if they didn’t pay. I don’t think it was helpful from day one and wasn’t the approach that should have been taken,” he said.

“I am anxious to address concerns that some people may have about their water pressure being reduced to a trickle for non-payment. I want to emphasise that I do not want to see this happening under any circumstances,” he said.

He was speaking at the tour of the Abtran call centre in Bishopstown, Cork which handles the Irish Water calls.


“ We want people to comply, to engage with Irish Water and become customers,” he said. He said what Government wants to do is create a process where people will pay their bills which will be modest.

“The charges will also be determined for a number of years so that householders have certainty and clarity.

“The critical thing is that we have modest water charges and that people see the full value of what we are doing.”

Mr Kelly said it was critically important that the Government get things right. “The time for mistakes is gone. We must, from a Government point of view, address all the concerns that citizens have raised. I am now devoting all my time to ensuring that we correct everything...I would rather get things right and do things properly than put a (hasty) timeframe on it.”

Managing director of Irish Water John Tierney who was also present for the tour John Tierney defended the introduction of water charges insisting that over time the value of the work being done will be well appreciated by the public.

“In total we have dealt with 475,000 calls through our contact centre between metering and the customer application campaign.”Mr Tierney said “a huge contact” has been made by the customer which is good in itself.

“People have to be listened to but, over time, the value of the work being done...will be very well appreciated by people. ”