Campaigner urges Inishowen to: ‘Stand firm and do not panic’

The flyers to be distributed by Christina Crumlish.
The flyers to be distributed by Christina Crumlish.

A public meeting and information night is due to be held tonight in St. Mary’s Hall, Muff on water charges.

The meeting comes as water meter installers begin work in the peninsula with a number of estates receiving their two-week notice in recent days.

Christina Crumlish from the Inishowen Against Water Charges Group, urged those who do not wish to have a water meter installed to “stand firm and don’t panic.”

Christina said the estates recently installed with meters were “meter ready” which “only takes a number of minutes.”

She urged homeowners to contact a group representative if Irish Water begin to work in an estate or at a home where the occupants do not want a meter.

Ms Crumlish said: “Ring me on 0851636865; Mark McKinney on 085 7443304 or Philip McFadden on 0868452458 and we will come and help. Remember, it’s private property. Your stopcock is outside your gate but it is your property.”

Ms Crumlish is currently distributing flyers outlining the National Citizens’ Movement implied right of access. She has urged people to place these and the ‘no water meter here signs’ at their property.

These posters state there is strictly no access on to property by Irish Water or any of its agents.

Ms Crumlish said that campaigners will have “more time” to reach estates which are not meter ready as machinery will be used in these instances.

She added that estates across Inishowen need to “organise amongst themselves.”

She said: “We will help. If people in your estate do not want meters on their property, get organised now. Ensure you know who does not want them and who does. This means that when you are not home, you can give permission to your neighbour to speak for you if installation is taking place. The main thing is, do not panic and make sure everything you do is peaceful and calm.”

She added that there was “media hype” regarding recent news that charges will be taken from wages and welfare.

She said: “This is not like the property charge where it will be taken out. With this legislation, a creditor has to take a person to court to put an attachment order on their wages, social welfare or pension. A creditor has to prove you owe the money to them before this can be done. 900,000 households aren’t paying. The courts are already jammed and do not have the capacity to deal with 900,000 hearings. Also, those who did not register did not enter into a contract with Irish Water. You have until mid 2016 to pay without any penalties, fines or attachments. Hold out. Stand firm and do not believe the hype. Do not pay these charges.”