| 6.9°C Dublin

Politicians hit Irish Water with 6,600 queries in 6 months

Close

Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

Marc O'Sullivan

Minister Alan Kelly Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

"Rude" staff, rodents and sewage issues prompted politicians to lodge queries and complaints with Irish Water, the Herald can reveal.

The utility company received a total of 6,672 representations to their dedicated Elected Representative Support Desk from TDs, Senators and councillors in the first six months of 2015.

The majority of the queries from the Cabinet came from Environment Minister Alan Kelly, who lodged 227 representations.

These questions dealt with domestic billing issues, metering, operations, what's described in documents as 'reactive cases', and water quality.

In Dublin, Communications Minister Alex White made 23 requests for information.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe made a total of 18 queries over the course of six months.

He asked staff in the utility company to investigate allegedly rude staff and a rodent problem.

"I've had a constituent tell me that some of your staff have placed barriers blocking access to people's homes and also that the residents did not receive any notification of the meter installation process.

"She told me that the workers were rude to her," he wrote about the incident, which is alleged to have occurred in Phibsboro.

"I would ask that you please investigate this incident with a view to preventing it from happening again."

Children's Minister James Reilly called on chiefs at the company to investigate a complaint from a constituent who said the issue of raw sewage being pumped into bathing areas in Rush made his "blood boil".

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton was told that approximately 8pc of Irish Water roles have been filled by candidates from the Live Register in a response to a query from him.

Care

Charles Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, made several representations about a pungent odour that was exasperating the locals in Portlaoise.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's office made six representations, while Finance Minister Michael Noonan, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan made none.

Irish Water said that 80pc of the queries made to the elected representative desk - which is manned by seven members of staff - were by email.

"We provide this service on matters relating to asset management, customer care and billing, operations and maintenance, and general queries," a spokesperson said.