Buncrana Moneymore Initiative
PART 1 - Approach Sgt Sean Barrett Re Agreement With Irish Water
The above group has now formally written to the local Garda
Superintendent requesting an urgent meeting in anticipation of the arrival
of the Irish Water metering squads to Buncrana in the very near future.
Other towns in the Inishowen peninsula are on standby waiting and
hoping for success in Buncrana in their very worthwhile strategy so that
they may also replicate what seems like a lot of common sense for all
The fact that the groups article ( see link below ) has received massive
public approval with 300 'recommends' on Donegal Daily website
demonstrates huge support for the proposed solution to the controversial
water metering installations.
Iink to article: http://www.donegaldaily.com/2015/02/08/locals-to-meet-
PART 2 - Meeting With Sgt Barrett And Results
A delegation from 'Buncrana Against Irish Water' had a very constructive
meeting on Wednesday last with Sgt. Shaun Barrett ( Co-ordinator for
Water-Protests ) in the local garda station. The main purpose of the
meeting was to bring to the attention of the local Gardai the outcome of
some very successful negotiations that took place in Moneymore, Co.
Louth after substantial difficulty between Irish Water meter installers and
the local residents. We, the residents of the Inishowen Peninsula wanted
to find out if we could replicate this peaceful agreement in our home
towns and avoid the potential breakdown in law and order as occurred in
Moneymore when Irish Water attempted to force the installation of water
meters against the wishes of the local residents. We would like to thank
Sgt. Barrett for his help and co-operation but the disappointing news is
that GMC Sierra ( the company responsible for the overall water meter
installations across Ireland ) responded to our peaceful and civilised
request by stating 'they had no mandate to meet residents for discussions
nor indeed did they intend to'.
This hard uncompromising opening position is extremely disappointing
to say the least as it demonstrates very little empathy or understanding
for the concerns of those residents who feel they are entitled to refuse the
installation of an Irish Water meter against their wishes. We pointed out
that feelings are running very high in relation to this topic and that all
possible action should be taken to prevent the potential breakdown of law
and order and that the Moneymore model was the road to travel.
Equal respect was the key to this agreement Iin Moneymore hammered
out over a two months period ( please see attached media article ) of
consultation between all parties involved. Respect for An Garda Siochana,
respect for the meter installation employees and respect for the
residents. The treatment that was dished out to the residents of
Moneymore was totally unacceptable as would be a similar scenario if it
was to be attempted in Inishowen. These residents deserve the height of
respect for demanding that they be treated in a civilised fashion which is
the least any law abiding community is entitled to.
We would like to believe that the hard line position being adopted by Irish
Water and GMC Sierre is simply their opening gambit and by no means
their final one. A civilised respectful solution is called for on all sides and
movement to agreed middle ground must be found. Nothing should be
written in stone at this time and all sides should demonstrate
compromise, if required, to reach an agreed acceptable solution.
A delegation from the Moneymore residents group has very generously
agreed to travel to Buncrana to attend a meeting in the Plaza next
Thursday night at 8pm. They will explain in detail the road they have
travelled with a view to helping us avoid the breakdown of civil society
that occurred in their town. Our campaign group 'Buncrana Against Irish
Water' would very much appeal to all citizens of Inishowen, and indeed
farther afield, to make their way to this important meeting. We would like
to extend an invitation to An Garda Siochana, representatives of Irish
Water/ GMC Sierra and ALL elected representatives in the hope and with
the help of Moneymore we can all play our part in achieving a mutually
acceptable agreement to this impending situation.
RESPECT IS THE KEY
PART 3 - Public Meeting Called In Lake Of
Shadows Hotel, Buncrana - Delegation from
Moneymore to Attend
'A Hell of a Meeting' was the dominant comment of the two hundred plus
people who came to the Lake of Shadows Hotel in Buncrana to hear Anita
and Gary Collins from Moneymore in Drogheda relate, step by step, their
battle with Irish Water meter installers.
The two hour meeting passed in a blink as we were taken through the
various stages of this struggle as the Moneymore residents stood up to
waves of intimidation and bullying as they demanded to be listened to and
treated with respect. Not an inch of ground was given until this mighty
community got what they felt they were always entitled to. A three way
agreement was hammered out between the residents, the meter installers
and An Garda Siochana with 'mutual respect' being the order of the day.
1. Meters for those who wanted them. ( the residents carried out detailed
survey of 600 houses on the 3 estates )
2. No intimidation of meter installers as they went about their agreed
3. No Irish Water meters for residents who made it clear they didn't want
This agreement is still in place and holding and stands out as a shining
example of what determined resident groups can achieve by standing up,
standing tough and demanding what every law abiding community is
entitled to - RESPECT.
A more detailed account of this fine meeting, and the way forward for us,
will be forthcoming shortly as all the information Gary and Anita had with
them is collated and disseminated. A massive round of applause was
given for coming to Buncrana and firing up the local communities who
have now agreed to start organising immediately. Big word of thanks to
Jim Quigley ( C'man Buncrana Against Irish Water ) for driving Gary and
Anita back to Drogheda today having gone down for them yesterday..
( Credit where its due ). The plan is there, has already proven it works, its
time to repeat it and as the man said ' A Hell of a Meeting'
Irish Water Personnel Attend Meeting Without Saying
A short message for the GMC Sierra personnel who infiltrated our
'Buncrana Against Irish Water' meeting in the Lake of Shadows Hotel last
We hope you listened hard and listened well to the comments of the
people of Buncana and carried them back faithfully to your masters.
You did not need to sneak in to the meeting, as if you might well be
criminals - we would have made you welcome. You left again under the
cover of darkness and slinked off into the night afraid to let it be known
you were there.
You heard us call for an agreement of mutual respect - be assured we will
accept nothing less.
PART 4 – Results Of Meeting
Following the very successful meeting of Buncrana residents in the Lake of
Shadows Hotel on Thursday, 19th February, the committee of the
campaign group, Buncrana Against Irish Water, has forwarded, by
registered post, an invitation to the Irish Water metering company to
engage in discussions with local residents.
The discussions will centre on reaching an acceptable, and civilised,
position for both sides. The topic for discussion will circulate around
'Mutual Respect'. This message emanated, loud and clear, from our recent
We are determined to achieve the recognition that, as a law abiding
community, we have certain rights that cannot be ignored or trampled on,
while, at the same time, taking on board the fact that the water metering
company has a job to do without hindrance or annoyance from anyone.
We earnestly appeal to Irish Water to come to the discussion table and
engage with the residents.
Our position is that water meters will be installed only in houses where it
is known that they are wanted. To that end, the campaign group, together
with residents, will carry out a door to door survey ( as they did in
Moneymore ) to determine peoples wishes in this regard.
We are all too aware of the potential for civil discord which must, if at all
possible, be avoided.
Buncrana Against Irish Water extends this invitation in all good faith, and
in good time, to enable all sides to come together in the hope of agreeing
a satisfactory position. A mutually acceptable third party adjudicator will
be considered, in the event of an impasse
This is most definitely the best road to travel. It was outlined by the
delegation from the Moneymore residents group at the recent meeting,
where they stated that such an agreement is already in place back in
Drogheda. The residents at The Lake of Shadows meeting wholeheartedly
and unanimously agreed that this should be the way forward.
The Buncrana Against Irish Water campaign group would earnestly appeal
to all people in the locality to get behind this initiative, give it a fair wind,
and demonstrate that a civilised solution is not beyond our reach.
PART 5 – Registered Letter Of Invitation To Irish Water
To Irish Water
24-26 Talbot Street9
To whom it may concern
I am writing to you as chairman of Buncrana Against Irish Water. I would
like to invite you, GMC Sierra Ltd to meet with us to discuss the
impending Irish Water metering programme in our hometown of Buncrana
and surrounding areas.
Our organisation, is a properly constituted residents/campaign group with
a duly elected officer board and wider representative committee set up to
campaign against the installation of water meters by Irish Water.
Nevertheless we feel it would be in the interest of all side to debate this
topic with the view of reaching a mutually respectful position where you
may complete your work and at the same time respecting the rights and
wishes of the local residents.
I look forward with anticipation to your response
Jim Quigley (Chairman Buncrana Against Irish Water)
PART 6 – Reply from Irish Water
PART 7 – Our Reply To Irish Water by email Irish Water
To Ruth McKenna
Customer Service Adviser
Dear Ruth McKenna
Thank you for your 4th March 2015 reply to our letter of 21 February
2015 asking for a meeting with Irish Water and GMC Sierra who we believe
are the overall metering contractors. I notice that you have passed on
our request to GMC Sierra, however, they have not replied to date.
Unfortunately your reply does not address our request as stated in our
letter. We asked to meet with Irish Water as well as GMC Sierra. We
feel it is a very reasonable and sensible request. We represent
households in Buncrana who have no contract with Irish Water and who
feel strongly that you should not be forcing water meters on them
against their will for a number of reasons. We know you believe that
the Water Services Acts of 2007 and 2013 give you the right to do this.
However, we feel that under the Constitution and under various
legislations we have a right to refuse your water meters.
I again ask you Irish Water in the interest of public safety and
fairness to facilitate our request to meet with us in Buncrana to see if
we can come up with a sensible compromise and I ask you to priorities
Chairperson Buncrana Against Irish Water
This is the history to date of the Initiative. We await both GMC Sierra Ltd and Irish Water replies. We will update this article when we hear from them.