A SHEEP’S Head native who was shocked to receive a bill for over €2,000 from Cork County Council, for engaging the fire service to help battle a gorse fire which threatened his home in February, has had the bill cancelled after a series of similar stories appeared in The Southern Star.
The caretaker at David Roche’s property at Kealties dialled 999 on February 28th as fires raged around several headlands in West Cork over a number of days. Fires were being set to eliminate gorse and furze ahead of the fire ban on March 1st.
The Southern Star ran a series of stories about bills which were sent to a number of householders, who had sought help to protect their homes.
The bills were to cover the cost of the fire services, which were working around the clock for a few days at several West Cork locations.
One homeowner had received a bill of over €6,000.But last week David Roche confirmed to The Southern Star that the invoice he received was cancelled by Cork County Council, after they noted that the fire had been started on ‘commonage’.
Mr Roche said that while it took a few emails to reach a conclusion, the staff he dealt with at Cork County Council were very efficient. ‘They welcomed the detailed evidence I submitted that the fire was on commonage and threatened other houses. In fact, one of their emails to me mentioned that local input was one of the pieces of evidence which led to the decision,’ he said.