A Donegal County Councillor has strongly criticised Irish Water after it emerged that the authority could not provide an Irish language speaker at their council clinics.
Irish Water hosts a monthly clinic with local representatives to answer queries and discuss water-related matters.
However, one councillor says that he is being denied the right to conduct his meetings in Irish due to a lack of available speakers or translators.
Glenties area Councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig had requested that an Irish language speaker would attend the next council clinic in January. He was told that no such speaker was available, but if one becomes available they will attend the meeting.
Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig, who conducts his council business in Irish, said the response is unacceptable.
“I have asked to conduct my business in the interest of the community in our native tongue. But Irish Water are going against the policy of Donegal County Council to promote the language. They are also going against the policy of the State (to promote Irish language),” Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said.
“I think this shows complete contempt and disrespect to the very community that I am elected to represent.”
Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig had also asked for council clinics to be made open to members of the public. This request was also refused.
Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig criticised the lack of transparency and said: “Irish Water is there to make sure that our water, sewers and infrastructure is kept up to date and in tact in the interest of the public. The public water belongs to the public, it’s a disgrace that they won’t meet them.
“They won’t even come to the municipal district meetings to meet councillors. What have they to hide?”
Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig added a call for Port Uí Chuireáin (Curransport) to be included in the 2020 water mains replacement plans. With 6km remaining on the countywide project, Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said that repair works must be added for the area, which has been regularly impacted by bursts.