Ard Na Gula Duibhe estate in Moville, Inishowen, Co Donegal completely metered by GMC Sierra Ltd installers on May 5th without the resident's knowledge, without their consent and without being notified. One 77 year old resident who did notice them at 6.45am was abused. The installer shouted into her face "your poster is a joke and you are a joke".
Statement from Mrs Rose Boyle of 15 Ard Na Gula Duibhe, Moville
"My name is Mrs Rose Boyle of 15 Ard Na Gula Duibhe, Moville. I am 77 years of age and I suffer from diabetes. On the morning of May 5th at 6.45am I noticed from my front room window an unmarked white van outside of my house and one man kneeling down at my water valve. I went outside and approached the man and asked him several times what he was doing. He ignored me and continued working. Suddenly another man got out of the unmarked van and very quickly approached me. he put his face right up against mine and shouted loudly "what's your problem?" I said if he is installing a water meter I want him to stop and I pointed to the 'No Water Meter Here' poster clearly visible on my front room window. He shouted into my face "You're poster is a joke and you are a joke." I immediately felt very frightened and intimidated. It took all the strength that I had left to go back inside my house where I have to admit I became very upset. This should not have happened to me."
Statement from Ard Na Gula Duibhe Residents
Mr Eddie Farren spoke on behalf of residents "Mrs Bolye is one of the oldest and most respected residents of this estate. This outrageous treatment of her by the Irish Water meter installers is unacceptable and will have to be investigated. It has to be condemned by all right thinking people.
No one in our estate knew that we had a meters installed even though we all had 'No Meter Posters' up on our windows. We were not notified by Irish Water. One resident Patrick Mc Gilloway, no 1, had no water for 2 days until he investigated his stop valve and found that it had been switched off and had a meter installed.
We call on our public representatives to insist on an investigation as to how this was allowed to happen in the first instance. Mrs Boyle is due a personal apology from Irish Water, as indeed are rest of the residents of this estate who have had water meters installed without proper notification and without permission."
Rules And Agreement Broken by Irish Water Meter Installers
Enda Craig, Moville Anti Water Charges, said that every facet of this incident is synonymous with abuse. This will be reported to all the relevant authorities especially irish water and An Garda Síochána. We are calling for an immediate and independent investigation into this affair. Irish Water must extend an unconditional personal apology to Mrs. Boyle. Also we demand that all water meters illegally installed without proper notification, both here and in the rest of the Inishowen peninsula must be removed.
Mr Craig said :
"1. Irish Water agreed every resident would receive 2 weeks notice, then a 2 days notice and then the installers would knock on doors to advise residents of the imminent water meter installation. None of that happened on this estate.
2. Irish Water meter installers are permitted to work between 7.30am and 7.30pm. In Mrs Boyle's case installers were working at 6.45am. How long before that were they in Ard Na Gula Duibhe Estate?
3. The first installer refused to acknowledge Mrs Boyle. This is 'passive aggressive behaviour' and amounts to abuse.
4. The second installer verbally shouted into Mrs Boyle face that 'she was a joke and her poster a joke'. This resulted in her becoming very upset and frightened. She has still not got over this abuse.
5. The installers showed no identification on their person or on their vehicle. Against Irish Water's stated protocol.
6 They failed to show any identity.
7. They disconnected Mrs Boyle's water supply without any notice.
8. They deliberately ignored 'No Meter Here' poster in Mrs Boyle's window and a verbal request to stop work.
9. Mrs Boyle had not signed any contract with Irish Water..
Irish Water Can Not Be Believed
GMC Sierra Ltd which, owned by Denis O'Brien, is sub contracted by Irish Water to install meters in this Inishowen. They started secretively installing meters here in mid April 2015. They have not been adhering to Irish Water stated protocols in relation to installing meters. See below Irish Water protocol.
Of course none of the protocols stated in this clip by Irish Water has happened to date in Inishowen. The abuse of residents by Irish Water contractors in Ard Na Gula Duibhe in Moville is not an isolated incident. See Buncrana Together previous articles, here:Irish Water in Moville Co DonegalTreatment of Woman Appalling and again here: Buncrana Against Irish Water Press Release Irish Water Insulting Inishowen Community All incidents have been reported.
Incidence of Abuse Not Being Investigated. Ignored by Local Politicians
To date these incidents have not been investigated. Residents have not been contacted by either Irish Water or An Garda Síochána.
All local politicians in the area have been notified and are well aware of what is going on. Apart from Sinn Fein councillors, none have raised the slightest objection nor have they contacted residents. In the case of 77 year old Mrs Rose Boyle she has been left on her own to deal with the aftermath of that gruesome ordeal.
Inishowen Independent May14, 2015
Below Mr Enda Craig, Moville Anti Water Charges, responds on Highland Radio to what he describes as a meaningless apology letter from Irish Water.
Inishowen Indepentent May14, 2015
In a later Inishowen Independent article May28th Irish Water praised the professionalism of it's staff and told the newspaper "Most of the metering teams are local workers and it is a testament to their professionalism and dedication that all incidents have been managed in an appropriate manner and that the overall targets for the metering programme continue to be met within the demanding quality standards."
All metering in the Inishowen peninsula has been halted. An Irish Water spokesperson said last week in the Inishowen Independent " there have been a number of instances of targeted aggression towards individual members of the metering teams in the Inishowen and Glenties areas of Donegal, which has necessitated the temporary cessation of works by the regional contractor, GMC Sierra, in these areas. Individual incidents were reported to the Gardai and are being investigated." However, local anti water charges campaigners flatly rejects Irish Water claims.
Buncrana Together will do a follow up on this controversy including a protest in Ard Na Gula Duibhe estate.