herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Irish Water sends bill addressed to couple who died five years ago

John Tierney of Irish Water
John Tierney of Irish Water

A MAN has received an Irish Water bill addressed to his parents - who both passed away five years ago.

Gerry Murray (65), from Newbridge, Co Kildare, was shocked to receive a letter in the post last Wednesday at the home he owned with his parents.

The water bill was addressed to his parents and extended the utility company's gratitude for the deceased couple registering with the firm.

"I couldn't believe it when I got it. The letter literally said 'Thank you for signing up with Irish Water'," he said.

"Both of my parents have been dead for the last five years," Mr Murray told the Herald.

Thomas and Bridget Murray both passed away in 2010, four months apart from one another.

The letter was sent to the Newbridge home which they owned with their son.

However, Gerry Murray expressed his annoyance at receiving the bill, adding that he had not signed up to the utility company either.

"How can they sign up for Irish Water when they are not with us anymore?" he asked.

"I haven't even signed up with them yet, so there should be no letter addressed to the house, never mind to my parents," he said.

Local councillor Willie Crowley also expressed his disbelief at the letter, saying it was "unbelievable how such a mistake could be made" by the utility company.

"It's unbelievable how the company can address a letter to two people who have sadly been deceased for a number of years. It's quite incredible actually," Mr Crowley said.

A spokesperson for Irish Water said the utility company "apologised for any inconvenience caused", adding that anyone who has been sent wrong information should contact them immediately.

"Sending out 1.5 million bills with a completely new database is a significant task, so we use information from property tax, An Post and local authorities to compile our database.

"Irish Water apologises for any inconvenience caused, and would urge anyone who has been sent wrong information to contact us immediately so that the problem can be corrected," the spokesperson added.

The utility company has previously posted water bills addressed to people that have been dead for a number of years.

Upset

In April, a family described how they were "very annoyed and upset" after they received a letter to their mother, who died six years previous.

Mary Jane O'Brien, from Navan in Co Meath passed away in January 2009, and was also taken off the voter's register.

"My mum lived with us in a granny flat at the side of our house. She passed away in 2009. Irish Water sent her a registration pack," her daughter Angela explained at the time.

"Where is this company getting her name and her information? This is what I would like to know," she said.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News