Anti-water charge group meets Sergeant

Water charges are a controversial issue.

Water charges are a controversial issue.

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Three members of the group Buncrana Against Irish Water met with Garda Sergeant Sean Barrett at Buncrana Garda Station on Wednesday.

Chairperson for the group, James Quigley, told the ‘Journal’ the meeting was “constructive” but expressed disappointment that GMC Sierra, Irish Water’s contractor, said they have “no mandate to meet with the public.” He said this “uncompromising stance” is “disappointing in the extreme” and “demonstrates a total lack of empathy with the residents.”

He added it was “surely high time that our elected representatives, both local and national, became actively and visibly involved on the side of the resident.”

“A simple vote in the council chamber declaring they are against water charges and metering and then leaving it to the residents could be viewed as being totally cynical.”

The group met with the Sergeant and posed a number of questions, including the definition of the Gardai’s ‘protocol’ in relation to the Irish Water Act as deemed by Superintendent Healy. The group recently urged all householders against water charges to form groups locally. They added it was “worth investigating the possibility of an agreement whereby the subcontractors could install meters in properties who want them but accept the wishes of those who do not want them.”

They added: “We do not want violence and I am sure the Gardai don’t either.”

Irish Water is expected to begin installing water meters this week. It is understood the recent inclement weather delayed this in a number of areas.