Irish Water has told the Dáil Environment Committee that it will consider a proposal to suspend water charges for commercial customers in areas where a boil water notice is in existence, a proposal first mooted by Roscommon councillors Domnick Connolly and Laurence Fallon.
The councillors wrote to Irish Water at the beginning of last month, on foot of commitments given by the Government in the Dáil before Christmas that people should not be charged for water which is unsafe to drink.
Under cross examination at the Dáil Committee yesterday by their colleague Denis Naughten TD, the head of Irish Water gave a commitment to consider the gesture as a measure of good faith, even though the company would not be legally liable to do so until August next at the earliest.
Presently in South Roscommon, Castlerea and Boyle many businesses which rely on water are forced to buy it in because there is a boil water notice on their supply.
Cllrs Fallon and Connolly have previously pointed out that commercial users of water such as bars, restaurants, food processors etc are presently being charged for a water supply which the HSE states is unsafe to drink.
Both councillors were however disappointed to hear from Irish Water that it would be “some months” before the boil water issues would be resolved throughout County Roscommon.
“The fact is that removal of water charges does not address the fundamental issue that 90% of people nationally with a boil water notice in place reside in County Roscommon, it will at least act as an acknowledgement to the customers of Irish Water of the financial hardship which they are experiencing and the commitment to have this matter resolved as soon as possible,” concluded the local councillors.