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Irish Water must end its campaign of harassment immediately

 

3rd April 2016

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has demanded that Irish Water “end its campaign of harassment against those with outstanding bills.” He made the call after being contacted by concerned constituents over the weekend, who complained about being persistently contacted by the company.

 

Deputy Quinlivan said;

“It is time for Irish Water to end its campaign of harassment against those with outstanding bills. I have been contacted over the weekend by many worried people, mostly pensioners, who are frightened by what they perceive as ongoing harassment from Irish water. The use of text messages and phone calls especially is causing huge stress to many older people.

“This is definitely happening. I received my tenth request via text from Irish water on Saturday seeking payment.

“The majority of TDs elected to the new Dáil stood on an anti-water charges platform, and with no government in place, it is clear that Irish Water does not have a mandate to continuing implementing the democratically rejected policy of the previous administration.

“In many cases, older people pay these austerity charges, not because they want to, but because they are afraid of the consequences if they do not. The one clear message delivered by the electorate in February was the demand to scrap water charges and abolish Irish Water. It is obvious that they have ignored that message and instead they are focusing on hounding people by any means necessary.

“The management of Irish Water is doing all it can to ensure that the democratic will of the people is circumvented. The leaking of the highly dubious, legal advice the utility received, which stated that the scrapping of water charges would not be permitted under EU law, is indicative of Irish Water’s strategy during this protracted period of time between governments. It is an attempt to present opinion as set in stone fact. It is nothing of the sort.

“That legal opinion does not at all tally with the information Sinn Féin has received from the EU Commission. It is our view that there is nothing to stop Ireland from using the derogation and we have that in black and white from the EU Commission.

“There is no Government in place, and in its absence Irish water should cease metering, focusing on fixing leaks and stop harassing people. It is long past time that the demands of the Irish people were heeded. Water charges must be scrapped and Irish Water must be abolished.”