herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Video calling for the 'sabotage' of new water meters 'futile'

AN online video urging people to illegally "sabotage" the installation of water meters has been viewed more than 20,000 times.

It comes as the roll-out of more than 1.1 million meters nationwide began in Co Kildare this month.

The video, posted by republican group Eirigi, has urged people to illegally tamper with public property.

However, the process has already been described as "futile" because homes without a meter will still have to pay an assessed charge, while gardai said that any complaints of criminal damage to public property would be fully investigated.

 

Tamper

The video was posted earlier this year and has received a steady stream of views ahead of the installation of water meters over the next three years.

The "step-by-step guide" advises users to open and tamper with stopcock chambers that have been installed on footpaths outside homes.

The chambers consist of a valve to regulate the flow of water and are designed to allow for the installation of a water meter to measure the volume of water used by each house.

The video advises viewers to use a large pipe to isolate the valve in the chamber so that it can still function.

It then shows a concrete mix being poured into the remaining area where a water meter would be fitted.

"Allow the mix to set. Replace cover. Then wait for Irish Water to discover that another home has joined the fight back," a message at the end of the video reads.

Responding to the video, Irish Water told the Herald that all households on the public water system would be expected to pay a water charge – either through metered consumption or an assessed charge.

"Water meters are a valuable tool for managing consumption and provide the fairest and most transparent method for charging for water," it said.

It added that the installation of water meters would create 1,600 jobs. It could not comment on whether the company had come across any sabotage attempts.

Requests for comment from Eirigi went unreturned.

hnews@herald.ie

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