Wednesday , June 7 2023

Irish Water presents Donegal family with € 66,000 bill after spouse spends two years building dream home


The Donegal family cannot move to their dream home after Irish Water has asked for more than € 66,000 to install a water connection in their home.

Danny Boyle has spent the last two years building a house in Gortahork in Geltacht West Donegal.

Mr Boyle and his partner are seeking to move into the property with their 18-month-old child.

However, Irish Water has requested a total of € 66,700 for all work to install a 270-meter water pipe in the new house.

The bill includes € 7,000 to allow the company to dig up the street to get in touch with the main line.

Mr Boyle said he simply couldn't afford the huge bill, but without water he couldn't get in.

He said: "We have spent the last two years building the house and are in the stage of putting up the stairs.

"We are so excited to move and we received this bill from Irish Water then.

[readmore]"At first, I thought it was a joke or a mistake, but that's what they want to bring into our home with three-quarters of an inch of water and touch the power.[/readmore]

"We just can't afford it and we can't move into a house that has no water supply."

Mr Boyle, along with Michael Hill County Local Councilor Mac Joola Easbuig, met with Irish Water representatives yesterday in an attempt to resolve the matter.

Mr Boyle, however, said Irish Water refused to bear the cost of the connection.

I thought when we made our appointment we could agree on something, but they refuse to move the contact fee.

"I just can't try this money and since I can't move into the house right now," he added.

Councilor Mac Giolla Easbuig said that after meeting with senior Irish water authorities, the Boyle family did not move forward.

He said they were left with three choices, none of which are acceptable.

"They can emigrate, go to the bank and ask for another EUR 70,000 or move to a house without water.

"None of these options are acceptable and Irish Water has its own strength to help this young family. They are already moving forward and this is not acceptable, but I am not giving up," he said.

He added that the problems facing the Boyle family would only prevent other families from moving back to Ireland and staying home because of the enormous costs now associated with the water connection.

A spokesman for Irish Water said the standard charge for nearby connections (within 10 meters) of the existing public network is € 2 272.

However, when new infrastructure is needed, such as an extension of the network, to provide a service to the applicant's property, Irish Water will undertake a detailed design to identify the project requirements.

They say site surveys and surveys may also be required, including engaging with law enforcement agencies such as local authorities to purchase a roadway license.

The following additional work will be required as part of the delivery project:

Materials needed to complete the extension:

  • Excavations in all categories of surfaces, temporary and permanent restoration in all categories of surface;
  • Works necessary for connection to the distribution or main water supply / main sewerage, commissioning and testing;
  • Traffic management, license to open roads and associated costs, working hours at night, liaison with local authorities and agencies.

Although Irish Water said they could not comment on individual cases, the € 66,700 levy charged to the Boyle family for connection to the water pipeline was a result of those requirements, they said.

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