Letterkenny Councillor Ciaran Brogan has called for a special meeting with Irish Water in order to raise serious issues over roadworks in Letterkenny.
Recent roadworks have sparked anger among local business people who were given no prior warning before roads were closed.
Problems with the delayed Joe Bonnar road, the Ramelton road closure and the state of resurfacing works on other routes have all led to the call for Irish Water representatives to be held accountable.
Cllr Ciaran Brogan said it is time that the company “come clean” and issue an apology.
“The way that Irish Water and the contractor have been conducting themselves throughout Letterkenny over the last number of months, we have huge concerns about the way they are managing the works and it is simply not good enough to the businesspeople of the town,” Cllr Brogan told the Letterkenny Municipal District meeting on Tuesday.
“I think it’s time Irish Water come clean, meet us as elected members, set out their programme and schedule of works, tell us what they are doing and the problems they have come across.”
Cllr Brogan highlighted the frustration felt by some business owners on a busy stretch of the Ramelton road when the road was closed last Tuesday with no public notice. Irish Water defended the closure and said an update was emailed to the Letterkenny Chamber and local councillors the week before, but Cllr Brogan said listing the ‘Ramelton Road’ as the site of works was too vague.
“Businesses were closed since February and only opened a few weeks and the first they knew works were being done was when the lorries pulled in that evening. That is no way to treat business people who are effectively the ratepayers and paying taxes. That is the sort of practice that gets the council, as a body, some bad publicity. I want to say it wasn’t the fault of Donegal County Council, it was the contractors.
“I think the council has a responsibility to bring these contractors forward to sit them down and question their practice, it’s not good enough to do what they done,” Cllr Brogan said.
Cllr Brogan added that the meeting should explore matters relating to the Pearse Road, the High Road, the Joe Bonnar Road and the “ongoing saga” of the Circular Road.
“On the High Road for example, if you look at some of the works restored, only half of the road has been tarred,” Cllr Brogan said.
“The contractors Irish Water have employed owe a great debt of apology to the many businesspeople of Letterkenny for the way they have conducted themselves over the last 12 months. It’s our onus as public representatives to flush them out,” he said.
Cllr Brogan said the special meeting with the company would discuss how the company carries out practices and how they intend to rectify issues going forward.
The council motion raised by Cllr Brogan was backed by Cllr Gerry McMonagle, who added that he plans to bring forward a motion at Plenary Level to abolish Irish Water.