'Astronomical increase in cost' of water mains repair in Cork village

'Astronomical increase in cost' of water mains repair in Cork village
Irish Water says it will cost €3.7m to repair the water mains in Ballinhassig.

A LONG-AWAITED water mains repair has been estimated to cost €3.7m by Irish Water, some €2m more than they quoted in late 2016.

This latest figure for repairing the water mains in Ballinhassig has caused consternation at County Hall, with councillors by delays to the project and the eye-watering increase in price.

Clarification had been sought by Fine Gael's Aidan Lombard on a project that Irish Water has said would cost €1.7m in December, 2016.

The latest costs were released in a report from Irish Water, requested by councillors, which showed the company has spent €100,000 repairing 10 breaks over the past two and a half years in the village.

Independent Councillor Ben Dalton O’Sullivan said the disruption caused to the village was “incredible.” 

Fine Gael Councillor Aidan Lombard said he was confused by the response and, as someone who works in the construction industry, he is aware that the rate of inflation is 7%, not 200%.

Mr Lombard said the report was not fair or accurate and if the report had collated the data from the start of 2017, when the company had said they would repair the water main, it would show 27 water outages in the area, costing €207,000.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Gillian Coughlan said the lack of transparency from Irish Water was “flabbergasting.” 

“We asked IW for a meeting specifically about this pipe and they refused. They will not come and speak to public representatives.” 

Fianna Fáil's Seamus McGrath asked that the council revert back to Irish Water and ask for a further breakdown of the costs in relation to each breakage and also for an explanation to the “astronomical increase in cost.” 

Mr McGrath also said he felt the reply from Irish Water was “quite disrespectful” and asked that the council’s dissatisfaction with the quality of the reply be made clear.

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