It's ‘parish pump politics' as disconnections anger locals

April 28th, 2017 6:15 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Cllr Joe Carroll said the water from the private well at Assolus Cross in Skibbereen is better than the town's mains water and that's why the townspeople like using it.

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Councillors are calling on Irish Water to reconsider its decision to disconnect an old water pump in Kilcrohane village.

COUNCILLORS are calling on Irish Water to reconsider its decision to disconnect an old water pump in Kilcrohane village.

Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) tabled the motion at a Municipal District meeting, calling on Irish Water to reconnect the service because it is causing ‘great inconvenience to the local Tidy Town’s committee who use it to water flowers and shrubs in the village.’

It also emerged that there is a similar problem in Skibbereen, where, according to Cllr Joe Carroll (FF), locals can no longer access a private well that some people prefer to the town’s mains supply. 

In Skibbereen, however, Mr Carroll said it is the Health Service Executive, and not Irish Water, that is concerned about the water being hazardous to human health.

Cllr Carroll said lots of people think the water from the private well at Coronea, near Assolus Cross, is ‘better than the town water’.

‘I think the HSE are, in this instance, just covering themselves. The water is beautiful to drink. People have been drinking it for many years and no one’s been ill.’

Irish Water confirmed to The Southern Star that the old hand pump in Kilcrohane village was disconnected in 2015 on the grounds of poor water quality. 

Because the pump isn’t used regularly, the spokesperson said a person could drink water that had lain stagnant in the pipes and become ill.

The spokesperson said: ‘The quality of water cannot be guaranteed. For this reason, Irish Water, in consultation with Cork County Council, has decided that it would be unsafe to reconnect the supply at this time.’

But several of the Council members spoke in favour of having it switched back on. 

One solution, according to Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG), would be to erect a sign saying it is not for human consumption. It was also suggested that another water source could be made available to the Tidy Town’s Committee, or that the pump could be replaced with a detachable tap.

The members agreed to write to Irish Water to ask the organisation to come up with a solution.

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