Fianna Fáil councillor John Sheridan has called on Louth County Council to use Eircodes as a means of indexing what water supply properties are on, following on from the Boil Water Notice that remains in place for a number of properties in Tallanstown.
The Boil Water Notice was lifted for 584 customers by Irish Water and Louth County Council late last month, leaving approximately 50 customers in 16 households still affected.
Many locals in the area of Tallanstown and its wider environs have been left confused by the poor communication they received from Irish Water. No written communication was ever directly or proactively provided to affected residents and businesses, until the BWN was lifted for the majority three weeks ago.
Sheridan, an Ardee Municipal District councillor, said some people in the area thought they were affected by the BWN and made necessary provisions such as buying bulk bottled water – despite the fact they were not among the affected customers.
“Any communication I had with council staff was perfect, timely, prompt,” he told Monday’s Louth County Council meeting. “But in general, colleagues from across the country reflect this, there is a frustration with a lack of communication from Irish Water, a lack of information.
“From the get go, communication in Tallanstown was lacking. There were farcical stories of people who were unaware whether they were in or out of the Boil Water Notice,” he continued. “That shines a light on whether or not Eircodes should be used to index what supply people are actually on.”
Cllr Sheridan believes that by using Eircodes to link properties to supplies, it would be easier for service providers and locals themselves to determine whether they are affected by such issues in the future.
The Dromiskin-based representative also asked that feedback from how the Tallanstown situated unfolded, from the council’s perspective, be forwarded to Irish Water to identify and correct failings moving forward.
Bernie Woods, Louth County Council’s Head of Finance and Water Services, told Cllr Sheridan that the local authority and Irish Water have regular meetings in relation to medium and long term projects and that a Boil Water Notice such as the seven month one endured by some in Tallanstown would act as a driver for some work to be made a priority.
“There is long term works needed,” Woods told the meeting. Separately, she committed to raising concerns about Irish Water’s communications with public representatives.