County Councillors pass motion
of no confidence in Irish Water

The offices of Longford County Council. Photo: Michelle Ghee.
Longford County Council

Longford County Council

became the latest local authority last week to pass a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Irish Water.

Local representatives endorsed the proposal on foot of a motion tabled by Independent Cllr Gerry Warnock.

He was joined in support by his two Independent colleagues, Cllrs Mark Casey and Mae Sexton as well as six Fianna Fail members, ensuring the motion was carried by 10 votes to 8.

“This is a matter that surrounds the viability of a public service that has the lack of support of nearly 50 per cent of the population,” said Cllr Warnock, as he put his request to the Council.

The non-party representative and recently declared Longford/Westmeath general election candidate claimed the utility company had been set up to massage exchequer figures at a national level.

“This entity is not about conservation,” he sternly put it.

“This entity is about removing from the balance sheet a smoke and mirrors tactic and is an accounting exercise to get money from the markets in order to fix the leaks that are in the system.”

They were comments which were readily supported by Cllr Mae Sexton.

She said her confidence in the public service provider was at an all-time low, and she referred to reports that the water meters currently being installed will have a limited lifespan.

“On a personal level I have not found them to be efficient. They really have not got their act together and we saw yesterday that the meters they have put in will be obsolete within 15 years.

Fianna Fail’s Seamus Butler said he wasn’t entirely adverse to the introduction of a State led water utility body. But he was disillusioned with the way government leaders had managed its establishment.

“The concept of Irish Water wasn’t bad,” he said. “What has been atrocious has been the execution of it. You could write a book on how not to set up a public utility.”

Last week’s motion of no confidence in Irish Water follows similar decisions taken by Cavan, Leitrim, Roscommon and Wicklow local authorities.

The Longford Leader sought a comment from Irish Water in relation to the ‘no confidence’ motion but none was forthcoming by the time of going to print.